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THE UNIVERSITY OF ALBERTA 


A TAX-EATING PROPOSITION: 
THE HISTORY OF THE 
PASSPASSCHASE INDIAN RESERVE 



Dy 

KENNETH JAMES TYLER 


A THESIS 

SUBMITTED TO THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES AN 
IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR 
OF MASTER OF ARTS 


DEPARTMENT OF HISTORY 


EDMONTON , ALBERTA 
SPRING, 1979 


D RESEARCH 
THE DEGREE 




Digitized by the Internet Archive 
in 2018 with funding from 
University of Alberta Libraries 


https://archive.org/details/taxeatingproposiOOtyle 




DEDICATION 


To the members of The Enoch Band 




ABSTRACT 


The surrender of the Passpasschase Reserve in November of 1888 
was the first significant Indian Reserve surrender in the Canadian 
North West. As such, it was the precedent for the devastating series 
of Indian land surrenders which followed during the first three 
decades of the Twentieth Century. Like many precedents, however, the 
Passpasschase surrender was not the result of any considered govern¬ 
ment policy, nor was it intended to set the pattern for future land 
cessions by Indian bands. Rather, it was the product of a unique 
combination of circumstances which conspired to make the abandonment 
and sale of the reserve lands appear to be the most expedient res¬ 
ponse to immediate pressures. While the Department of Indian Affairs 
was quickly discouraged by the practical problems which it encountered 
in attempting to dispose of the reserve land, and became rather dis¬ 
enchanted with the surrender process as a result, others took a 
different view. Frank Oliver, the editor of the Edmonton Bulletin , 
and a leader among the white residents of Edmonton who had campaigned 
vigorously against the establishment of the Passpasschase Reserve 
since before it was definitely located, found confirmation for his 
belief that trie land was needed by better men in the final outcome 
of the surrender. By the end of the century, the potential of a 
forty square mile tract which had been virtually unexploited by a 
band of Indians which had "gone into the business of starving and 


(iv) 





dunning the Government for grub", was supporting a prosperous 
community of industrious white farmers. The Passpasschase Reserve 
had been transformed from a tax-eating to a tax-paying proposition, 
and this change was most gratifying to the future Superintendent 
General of Indian Affairs. 


(v) 



ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 


I would like to express my appreciation to Professors David J. 
Hall and John E. Foster for their helpful comments and suggestions on 
the various drafts through which this thesis progressed, and to 
C. B. Koester, for his penetrating criticisms of the first draft of the 
land claim upon which this thesis was based. A special acknowledgement 
must also be made of the invaluable contribution made by former Chief 
Raymond Cardinal, and Councillors Ed and Romeo Morin, Charlie Cowan, 
Alphonse Thomas, and Alex Peacock of the Enoch Band and the former Band 
Administrator, Cliff Sim. It was they who made the decision to finance 
the original research which was used in this thesis, and who kindly 
extended permission for me to make use of the findings for academic 
purposes. I can only hope the eventual results of the many pleasant 
months that I spent working for them will in some measure justify the 
faith which they displayed in me. Thanks are also due to the many 
members of the Enoch Band who shared their knowledge of the history of 
the Passpasschase Band with me. Much that I learned informally from 
George Morin, Johnny Ward, Lawrence Morin, Jim Lapotac, and others 
could not be adequately reflected in the footnotes and bibliography. 
Also, thanks are due to Shelagh Morse, who exercised great patience and 
care in typing the final copy of this thesis. Finally, a special note 
of appreciation is due to my wife, Barbara, who not only performed an 
inordinate share of the physical labour involved in typing, proof¬ 
reading, and correcting the many drafts of this work, but also pro¬ 
vided the emotional support and encouragement which made possible its 
completion, 


i.) 









TABLE OF CONTENTS 


CHAPTERS PAGE 

I THE LAW AND ITS ORIGINS . . 1 

II THE TREATY AND THE BAND . ... . . . 25 

III DISINTEGRATION... 78 

IV THE SURRENDER.. . 108 

V A HARBINGER .. 145 

* * * 

BIBLIOGRAPHICAL NOTE... 160 

BIBLIOGRAPHY.... 173 










MAP 


DESCRIPTION 


Plan of the Subdivision into Sections of the Lands Reserve 
for the Band of Chief "Papaschase" Heretofore Known. As 
Indian Reserve No. 136 At the Two Hills Near Edmonton . . . 


PAGE 


. 109 


(viii) 



The tract of country south of Strathcona known 
as the Indian reserve is covered with stubble fields 
and grain stacks. Seven steam threshers are finding 
ample work on it this fall. It is producing many 
thousands of bushels of grain and thereby adding wealth 
to the country. Had it remained in the hands of the 
Indians it would still be a tax eating instead of a 
tax paying proposition. 

—Edmonton Bulletin , October 28, 1901. 


(ix) 



CHAPTER I 


THE LAW AND ITS ORIGINS 


If this country was given by the Indians to 
the Government then it would be right for 
the Government to be thankful for whatever 
they might get; but if the Government has 
bought the land it is surely their right and 
duty to look after the interests of the 
settlers, both present and future, for whom 
the land was bought, and out of whose earnings 
it is expected ultimately to be paid for. . . 

— The Bulletin , January 17, 1831 


1 




2 


When the adventurers of Early Modern Europe first arrived in 
America, they found various indigenous peoples in possession of the 
hemisphere. Almost immediately, the newcomers began to displace the 
native tribes and occupy their lands. In some places and times the 
Europeans met with determined opposition; in other places and at other 
times, they did not; but, in whatever fashion the Indians and Inuit 
may have expressed their objections, the superior force and resources 
of European civilization were more than sufficient to overwhelm them. 
All of the Americas fell first into the possession of European Empires, 
and ultimately into the hands of independent states in which European 
influences predominated. 

The displacement of the Indians and Inuit was inevitable. But 
the process by which it occurred was not uniform, and everywhere it 
encompassed more than a series of oft-repeated events--of conquests, 
threats, and negotiated 'treaties'. It also posed a series of moral 
and legal questions, the answers to which needed to be integrated into 
different European systems of thought and of law. The powerful nation¬ 
states on the east side of the North Atlantic had achieved their 
strength through the creation of ordered societies. Each of them 
endeavoured to transplant its particular system of order to America. 

In part, this can account for the differing ways in which the invading 
nations dealt with the Indian presence in the New World. 

An essential element in the stability of all European powers 
was a means of securing persons in their possession of specific tracts 
of land, and of providing for the orderly transfer of real property. 
Each of them had developed a substantial body of law for this purpose. 


When European codes of land tenure were imposed upon America, the 
question of the rights of the indigenous peoples to the land could not 
forever remain unresolved. Yet, it is not surprising that no single, 
nor very clear, answer was given. Just how the aboriginal title of 
the Indians and Inuit was dealt with by the various colonizing powers 
is still the subject of controversy. It has been asserted by some 
that all European powers (with the notable exception of the French), 
recognized the validity of the Indian title to the Americas from the 
commencement of their settlement in the New World. 1 Others have 
declared that the only European nations to recognize aboriginal rights 
m a consistent fashion were the Netherlands and Sweden. 

In a sense, both views are correct. Examples can be found to 
demonstrate that some Indians, at some times, and in some places, were, 
in fact, compensated for, or left undisturbed in possession of, their 
lands by all of the colonizing powers. Even the notorious Spandiards, 
were constrained by the teachings of Franciscus de Victoria, d and by 


1 See, for example, Peter A. Gumming and Neil H. Mickenberg, 
eds., Native Rights in Canada (2nd.; Toronto: The Indian-Eskimo 
Association of Canada, 1972), pp. 13-50. 

2 W. C. MacLeod, The American Indian Frontier (London: Dawsons 
of Pall Mall, 1968), pp. 193-208. 

3 In 1532, Victoria, a Dominican and Professor of Sacred Theol¬ 
ogy at the University of Salamanca, gave a series of lectures entitled 
De Indls and De Jure Belli, in which he asserted that the aborigines 
of the Americas were the owners of the lands which the Spaniards were 
then exploiting, and that the Spaniards had no right to dispossess them 
of their lands, or to make war upon them except in self-defence. The 
Spaniards, Victoria argued, should employ pacific measures to convert 
the Indians to Christianity, and to persuade them to submit to the 
authority of the Spanish monarch. Should the Indians refuse, the 
Europeans had no right to make war upon them, unless the aborigines 
forcibly interfered with the rights of the newcomers no trade, travel, 
or preach the Gospel. Franciscus de Victoria; De Indis et de Jure 










the dictates of the Papal Bull Sublimis Deus , to recognize the exist¬ 


ence of limited Indian property rights, albeit that such a concession 
was relatively meaningless in practice. 11 On the other hand, it is 
indisputable that the sovereign authorities of the European nations 
regularly granted vast tracts of American lands to certain of their 
subjects, with a complete indifference to any rights of the native 
inhabitants. Only the Dutch took the peculiar step of insisting that 
a title to lands be obtained from the Indians as well as the Dutch 
authorities. * * * * 5 

The British record on this question is most complex and con¬ 
fusing. English monarchs invariably ignored any aboriginal rights 
when granting charters for new colonies in America, but a great many 
of the proprietors and governors of such colonies undertook the expense 
and trouble of purchasing their newly acquired lands from the Indians. 6 


Belli Relectiones, Being Parts of Relectiones Theologicae XII (Ernest 
Nys, ed.) in The Classics of International Law Series (Washington: 
Carnegie Institution of Washington, 1917) especially pp. 151-162 and 
166-173. 


4 Cummings and Mickenberg, Native Rights , pp. 14-15. Some of 
the fine sentiments of Victoria and of Sublimis Deus were incorporated 
into the New Laws of the Indies (1542), but the majority of Spanish 
adventurers in the New World had built their personal fortunes on the 
encomienda system of forced Indian labour, and were prepared to revolt 

at the prospect of the recognition of any Indian rights. Three years 

later some of the New Laws were revoked, and the means were quickly 

found to render many of the remaining laws meaningless in practice. 

MacLeod, American Indian Frontier , pp. 87-93. 

5 MacLeod, American Indian Frontier , pp. 196-197. 

6 The grant of Rupert's Land to the Hudson's Bay Company con¬ 
forms to this pattern. The Charter granted by Charles II in 1670 
makes the Governor and Company "absolute Lordes and Proprietors" of 
Rupert's Land, without reference to the inhabitants of the Territory, 
even though the primary purpose of the Company was to trade with the 
native tribes. Yet, when the H.B.C. began to build posts on the shores 















Yet, until very recent times, it has not been suggested that the 
failure of a proprietor or his successor to extinguish Indian rights 
has jeopardized his title. And only Roger Williams, with that con¬ 
sistency which is a mark both of the genius and of the fanatic, went 
so far as to claim that the King had no right to grant lands which the 
Indians had not surrendered. He followed the Dutch example and 
obtained the Charter for the colony of Rhode Island from the English 
Parliament only after the land had been purchased from the Indians. 
Williams appears to have been the sole founder of a recognized British 
colony in America to have proceeded in this manner. * * * * 7 8 

Nevertheless, the fashion of extinguishing the Indian title did 
spread. There were a few non-conformists, but by the end of the seven¬ 
teenth century the greater part of the settled portions of the English 
colonies on the east coast of America had been purchased from the 
Indians. Indeed, the new custom created a new problem. Ambitious 
settlers who purchased their intended estates from the Indians had to 
be reminded that the aboriginal title had no standing in law, and 
that only the colonial authorities could make a valid grant of land. 0 


of the Bay, treaties were initially entered into with the Indians to 
purchase the land in the immediate vicinity. See Arthur S. Merton, 

A History of the Canadian West to 1870-71 (2nd ed.; Toronto: Univer¬ 

sity of Toronto Press, 1973), pp. 51, 67, and 73. After a brief 

flurry in the late seventeenth century, the practice of making land 

cession treaties with the Indians of Rupert's Land seems to have 

fallen into disuse until 1817. 

7 James Trusiow Adams, The Founding of New England (Boston: 
Little, Brown & Co., 1927), p. 164. MacLeod, American Indian Fr onti er, 
p. 199. »■■■-— 

8 Ibid., pp. 200-203. 










6 


The British, then, did not recognize an aboriginal title to 
the lands they had colonized in America. Only in the history of Rhode 
Island can one find any indication that the colonial authorities 
recognized Indian ownership of the land, as Europeans understood that 
concept. But the increasingly widespread practice of purchasing land 
from the original inhabitants, which may often have been prompted by a 
desire to blunt Indian hostility to the expansion of settlement, also 
evidenced a recognition by the British colonizers of a moral right of 
the indigenous peoples to their hunting grounds. This vague acknow¬ 
ledgement of the Indian's moral position almost imperceptibly began to 
seep into the laws of what were to become the United States and 
Canada. 9 

While the moral right of the Indians to the land of the New 
World was gradually being conceded, new questions were arising. The 
self-righteous attitude of those settlers who had received legal title 
to their lands from the authorities and then repurchased the same 
tracts from the Indians "in order that they might have a just and 
equitable as well as legal right to the land," 10 soon gave way to 
renewed feelings of guilt. The agreements whereby Europeans obtained 
land from the Indians were usually not of an equitable nature. Co¬ 
ercion, threats, and misrepresentation were often resorted to. Areas 

°For one of the most thought-provoking treatments of this 
subject see: Daniel J. Boorstin, The Americans.: The National 
Experience (New York: Vintage Books, 1365}, pp- 256-264. 

10 N. Fiske, An Account of the Settlement of Broo kfield iMass’.] 
and Its Distresses During the Indian Wars ? quoted in MacLeod, 

American Indian Frontier , p„ 201. 










7 


were sometimes acquired from Indians whose connection therewith was 
very tenuous, but who were far more agreeable than the natives actually 
resident. 

The Proclamation of 1763 vested in the Indians at the very 
least usufructuary rights over a portion of the British Empire in 
America. It also attempted to assure the aborigines that unconscion¬ 
able land transactions would cease by establishing a Crown monopoly 
for extinguishing Indian rights. But the moral dilemma could not be 
disposed of by transforming it into a legal one. The harsh reality 
remained that if the European colonists and authorities desired Indian 
lands the Indians could not be allowed to stand in the way, no matter 
how desirable it might be to obtain their good will. No series of trans¬ 
actions based upon such a premise could be entirely just. 

This being the case, the British and the Americans were 
compelled to seek justification for their appropriation of Indian 
lands in concepts that would bear closer examination than would the 
land cession T treaties 1 . It was sometimes asserted that the Indians 
placed little or no value on their territories and readily parted with 
them. While this may have been true in the early stages of European 
colonization, a few experiences at the hands of the whites soon taught 
the natives the value of their lands. It was also claimed that the 
red man could not grasp the concept of land ownership.^ VJhile there 
is no doubt that some of the incidents which the Indians attached to 
land ownership did not always coincide with those of the English common 


^Hjilliam Francis Butler, The Great Lone Land (Edmonton: 
Hurtig Publishers, 1968), p. 362. 




































































. 
















8 


law, it became increasingly difficult to maintain this claim against 
the insistent declarations of ownership made by the Indians them¬ 
selves . 12 

But there were two rationalizations for the displacement of the 
Indian which appeared self-evident to the Europeans until almost the 
present day, and which were rarely, if ever, challenged. One was that 
the Indians did not use the land, or at the very least, did not make 
use of more than a small fraction of its potential. The area necessary 
to support a small nomadic band could maintain thousands of times as 
many Europeans. Like the servant who buried his talents in the ground, 
the Indian was justly deprived of even that which he had. To those 
whites on the North American settlement frontiers, the righteousness 
of this argument was obvious.It also had a certain egalitarian 
appeal. A variant of this case can still be heard wherever the 
necessity for "agrarian reform" is urged. 


12 See, for example, "Messages from the Cree Chiefs of the 
Plains, Saskatchewan," to His Excellency Governor Archibald, April 13, 
1871, Edmonton House; in Alexander Morris, The Treaties of Canada with 
the Indians of Manitoba and the North-West Territori es, Coles Canadians 
Collection (Toronto: Coles Publishing Company, 1971), pp. 169-171. 

See also James Seenum and 58 others, to A. G. Archibald, January 9, 
1871, Whitefish Lake; in Public Archives of Manitoba, Adams G. Archi¬ 
bald Papers, No. 169. 


1 ^In the eighteenth century, the Swiss Jurist, Emmerich de 
Vattel argued that the failure of a people to cultivate their lands is 
a sufficient reason for people from crowded nations to gain the right 
to take possession of such lands and place them under cultivation. In 
relating this general principle, Vattel makes specific reference to the 
case of the Americas, Emmerich de Vattel The Law o f Nations; or 
Principles of the Law of Nat ur e Applied to t he Conduct and Affairs of 
Nations and Sovereigns . (Joseph Chitty, ea.) (Philadelphia: T. & J. W. 
Johnson Law Booksellers, 1852). Rev. George Grant declared of the 
Indian of North Western Ontario, "His wild, wandering life is incon¬ 


sistent with modern requirements: 


vast regions were surely meant 


these 












The second rationalization was that the indigenous peoples of 


the Americas would gain far more than they would lose. While the 
Europeans might deprive the Indian of his land, they would ultimately 
confer a greater benefit upon him: they would civilize him and 
assimilate him into the superior culture of the white man. In times 
when Western Civilization possessed that self assurance of which it is 
now so rapidly divesting itself, the inferiority of the American Indian 
way of life was all but universally accepted by men of European origin 
everywhere. While not all whites were convinced that the red man was 
capable of successfully adjusting to the superior standards of Western 
Civilization, most were agreed that by taking unto themselves a moral 
obligation to attempt to uplift and assimilate the Indians, the govern¬ 
mental authorities of both Canada and the United States were being more 
than generous to this continent's original peoples. 14 As we shall see, 
these two arguments were to play no small part in the history of the 


to maintain more than a few thousand 0jibbeways." In Rev. George M. 
Grant, Ocean to Ocean: Sanford Fleming's Expedition Through Canada in 
1872 , Coles Canadiana Collection (Toronto: Coles Publishing Co., 1970), 
p. 34. 


14 Alexander Morris's parting words in his account of the Indian 
Treaties in the North-West were: "Let us have Christianity and civil¬ 
ization to leaven the mass of heathenism and paganism among the Indian 
tribes; let us have a wise and paternal Government faithfully carrying 
out the provisions of our treaties, and doing its utmost to help and 
elevate the Indian population, who have been cast upon our care, and we 
will have peace, progress, and concord among them in the North-West; 
and instead of the Indian melting away . . . , we will see our Indian 
population, loyal subjects of the Crown, happy, prosperous and self- 
sustaining, and Canada will be enabled to feel, that in a truly pat¬ 
riotic spirit, our country has done its duty by the red men of the 
North-West, and thereby to herself. So may it bee", in Morris, 
Treaties, pp. 296-297. 










relations between the Canadian Government, and the members of the 
Passpasschase Band. 

The legal relationship between the Indian and the land on 
which he resided also became a question which has greatly influenced 
the history of the above mentioned band. The Proclamation of 1763 had 
invested some of the Indians in British territory with certain rights 
to their hunting grounds. In practical terms, the meaning of the edict 
was clear enough. Colonial authorities could no longer issue patents 
for land within the territory west of the Appalachian watershed and the 
boundaries of Quebec and Florida, and south, of Rupert's Land, until the 
Crown had received a surrender of the same from the Indians. Such 
surrenders were only to be made at some public meeting or Assembly of 
the Indians called for that purpose by the Governor or the Commander 
in Chief of the colony concerned. 15 

As a result of the Proclamation it was clear that 'the Indians 
possessed legal rights to the lands therein specified, but it gave no 
hint as to the nature of those rights. Not until 1889 was any defini¬ 
tive decision on this point reached. In the case of St. Catherines 
Milling and Lumber Co mpan y and The Queen , the Judicial Committee of 
the Privy Council ruled that the Indians did not hold legal title in 
fee simple to their unsurrendered lands. Rather they possessed a 
personal and usufructuary right, dependent upon the good will of the 
Sovereign over the same. The indigenous peoples thus were conceded 

15 Royal Proclamation, October 7, 1763, Canada, Revised 
Statutes of Canada (1970), Appendix II, No. 1., pp. 123-129. 







the right to use and benefit from their lands so long as the Crown 
permitted, but they were denied the right to alienate them, (except 
to the Crown) or to alter them in substance. 16 While the nature 
of the usufructuary right was not delineated in detail, the decision 
did interpret the past practice of the British in America as well as 
any legal judgement could be expected to do. By the time that judge¬ 
ment had been rendered in the St. Catherines Milling case, however, 
the question of aboriginal rights to the soil was declining in im¬ 
portance, 17 and the administration of Indian reserve lands had become 
the major preoccupation of those government officials responsible for 
Indian Affairs. 


1s St. Catherines Milling and Lumber Company and The Queen on 
the Informatio n of the Attorney-General for Ontario ( The Law Reports ; 
Privy Council, Vol. XIV, p. 46.). 

17 By 1889 the Canadian Government had concluded treaties with 
the Indians in almost all of the areas where it was considered 
politically feasible to do so, and where there was any immediate 
prospect of extensive white settlement. Quebec and the Maritimes 
were East of the Proclamation Line, and since the French had not 
seen fit to treat with the Indians for their rights to the soil, 
there apparently had been no inclination on the part of the British, 
who succeeded them, to unsettle the European inhabitants of those 
areas by raising the question. Cumming and Mickenberg, Native Rights , 
pp. 80-91 and 94-105. Similarly, from 1871 onwards, British Columbia 
refused to recognize aboriginal rights and thus would not consent to 
any Federal Government attempts to extinguish them. Ibid ., pp. 171- 
193. Since 1889, only six new treaties have been signed in Canada 
for the purpose of satisfying aboriginal claims: Treaties 8, 9, 10, 
and 11, the 1923 Treaty, and the James Bay Agreement. (The area 
encompassed by Treaty 5 was also expanded.) With the exception of 
the Peace River Block in Treaty 8, and the land covered by the 1923 
Treaty in Eastern Ontario, regions covered by the more recent treaties 
are still largely unsettled by white Canadians. 










1 


The Indian reserve 18 as an institution had diverse origins. 

As early as 1516, Cardinal Ximenes, the Regent of Castile, had autho¬ 
rized the establishment of segregated Indian communities in the West 
Indies, where no Spaniards other than an appointed administration and 
the officials of the Catholic Church would be permitted to reside. The 
plan was designed to prevent the imminent extinction of the native pop¬ 
ulation at the hands of the avaricious colonists, but before it could 
be implemented, the ravages of smallpox had almost obliterated the 
people it was intended to save. 18 In New France, the first reserves 
were designed, not to segregate the Indians from the society and 
culture of the colonists, but to assimilate them into it. In the 1630s, 
the Jesuit missionary. Father Le Jeune, conceived of a community in 
close proximity to Quebec wherein the Algonkian Indians could be 
induced to abandon their nomadic way of life, and learn to cultivate 
the soil. Once they had adapted to a sedentary means of existence, 
it was believed that the natives would much more readily grasp the 
advantages of Christianity and Western civilization. With the aid of 
Noel Brulart de Sillery, a devout philanthropist, the Jesuits were 
enabled to put this theory into practice with the founding of St. 

Joseph de Sillery in 1637, the first Indian reserve in Canada. 20 

18 For reasons unknown to the author, the term "reserve” is pre¬ 
ferred for lands set aside for Indians in Canada. In the United States 
the term "reservation" is almost invariably employed. 

18 MacLeod, American Indian Frontier , pp. 35, 2S3-235. 

O A 

u George F. G. Stanley, "The First Indian 'Reserves' in Canada, 
Revue d'Kistoire de l'Araerique Frangaise , Yol. IV, No. 2 (September, 
1950), pp. 178-210. 







Subsequently, other missions were established in New France for like 
purposes, some of which, such as Caughnawaga, St. Kegis, and Oka 

p *i 

survive as Indian reserves to this day. 1 In all such cases, land was 
granted either to the Indians themselves, or to the ecclesiastical 
authorities for the use and benefit' of the Indian converts living 
there. 22 In practice, the close intermingling of Indian and white 
too often had undesired effects. While many of the secular authori¬ 
ties continued to support a policy of assimilation of the Indians into 
the society of New France, the officials of the Church attempted to 
segregate their Indian converts from the white colonists when they 
began to encounter increasing difficulties with drunkenness among 
their native flocks. 23 Thus the Indian reserves in New France, which 
were conceived of as the means to assimilation, quickly evolved into 
segregated communities. 

The development of Indian reserves in the British colonies 
was more haphazard than it was among the French.. Originally, the 
English were not inclined to acknowledge any general aboriginal title 


21 Ibid . 

22 Ibid . Only in the case of Sillery was land granted directly 
to the Indians. In all other cases the ecclesiastical authorities were 
granted the land, usually with a reversionary clause, to the effect 
that if the land should cease to be used as an Indian mission it should 
be returned to the grantor. The land was not always given by the 
Crown. At Sillery, it was granted by the Company of New France, and 
in many other cases it was made available by private seigneurs.. 

23 Ibid . See also, Jean Delanglez, Frontenac and the Jesuits 
(Chicago: Institute of Jesuit History, 1939), pp. 35-65; W. J. Eccles, 

Frontenac: The Courtier Governor (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart 


Ltd., 1959), pp. 54-58. 












to the soil, but they generally seem to have believed that the Indians 
should be left in undisturbed possession of the lands which they were 
actively cultivating or actually residing upon, until such time as 
the owners had been conquered in war. 24 Most of the Indian tribes 
on the East Coast of America either receded into the Interior in the 
face of British settlement, were driven there by force of arms, or 
were exterminated. But some tribes and individual Indians preferred 
to remain near the European settlements, either because they had 
converted to the Christian religion, or because they valued the pro¬ 
tection of the white newcomers against their ancient enemies. A 
few others, remnants of defeated tribes, had to be provided for by 
colonial authorities after the martial supremacy of the Europeans 
had been established. In such cases, small reservations of land for 

or 

the use and occupancy of the Indians were often set aside. 3 As the 
British expanded their colonial Empire into the formerly French poss¬ 
ession in Acadia, land was set aside for the Indian residents in a 
similarly haphazard fashion. Bands of Indians would be granted 


24 Myra Kingsbury, (ed.), Records of the Virginia Company , 

Vol. Ill, pp. 556-557; as quoted in Hugh T. Lefler, (ed.), A 
History of the United States. From the Age of Exploration to 1865 , 
Meridian Documents of American History, (Cleveland: The World 
Publishing Company, 1960), p. 55. 

25 MacLeod, American Indian Frontier , pp. 387-392. The first 
Indian reserve in Connecticut was established in 1649; the first in 
Massachusetts was established in 1651. Lands were first assigned to 
Indians by the colonial authorities in Virginia in 1656, and it was 
in that colony that the regulation that Indian reservation lands 
should be inalienable first appeared. Maryland made provision for an 
Indian reserve in 1704, and Pennsylvania in 1717. 










15 


reserves when their members had decided to become farmers, or when the 
colonial authorities had determined that it was time for them to do 
so. 26 

But the establishment of these small Indian enclaves in. the 
British colonies along the Atlantic seaboard had a rather different 
origin than did the reserves that were later created in the Interior. 
In addition to affirming the legal status of aboriginal rights, the 
Proclamation of 1763 had also established an Indian boundary line 
along the Appalachian watershed. 27 An 'Indian Territory' was created 
in the Mississippi Valley and the Great Lakes basin, and no British 
subject was permitted to settle any portion of that territory until 
the Crown had purchased the desired land from the tribes interested 
in it. 28 In subsequent years the British and American authorities 
concluded treaties with Indians to the west of the boundary line 
whereby large tracts of the Indian Territory were purchased to be 
opened up for white settlers. The native population could not be 

26 E. Palmer Patterson II* The Canadian Indian: A History 
Since 1500 (Don Mills, Ontario: Collier MacMillan Canada Ltd,, 

1972), pp. 62-65. 

27 Royal Proclamation, October 7, 1763, Canada, R evised 
Statutes of Canada (1970)/ Appendix II, No. 1., pp. 123-129. 

28 Max Farrand, "The Indian Boundary Line,” A merican 
Historical Review , Vol. X (1904-1905), pp. 782-791. 














16 


pushed westward forever, and areas which the Indians wished to 
preserve for their own use were eventually encircled by European 
settlement. Such lands came to be known as Indian reserves. 29 

In Canada, the process of establishing Indian reserves was to 
go through another permutation. As the years passed, it became 
increasingly common for certain lands which had recently been purchased 
from the Indians by the Crown to be designated as reserves by the Can¬ 
adian authorities. In this fashion, Manitoulin Island was set aside 
as an intended home for a majority of the Indians of Upper Canada in 
1836. 30 A similar procedure was employed more extensively in Western 
Canada. Many of the numbered treaties provided for the cession of the 
Indian interest in large territories, with the proviso chat reserves of 
a specified area but at unspecified locations, would be set apart for 
the Indian bands when they desired to settle permanently. 31 By the 


29 Farrand, "Indian Boundary Line," pp. 782-791; MacLeod, 
American Indian Frontier , pp. 439-440; Wilbur R. Jacobs, Dis ¬ 
possessing the American Indian: Indians and Whites on the Colonial 
Frontier (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1972), pp. 103 and 
206. 

3 °Patterson, The Canadian Indian , pp. 86-88. 

31 0f the numbered Treaties, Treaties 3, 4, 6, 8, 10, and 11, 
made no mention whatsoever of the location of reserves, only specifying 
that they were to be of sufficient size to provide 128 acres per 
capita. Treaties 1, 2, 5, 7, and 9 did include in their texts approxi¬ 
mate locations for reserves that ware to be set aside under their terms. 
The language employed in these treaties was that "Her said Majesty the 
Queen, hereby agrees and undertakes to lay aside and reserve for the 
sole and exclusive use of the Indians, the following tracts of 








twentieth century, the Department of Indian Affairs had come to regard 
the establishment of Indian reserves to be as much a matter of sound 
public policy as of treaty obligation. In 1909, Duncan Campbell Scott, 
an official with more than thirty years experience in the depart¬ 
ment, 32 declared that land had been set aside for bands on the western 
prairies, not only to satisfy the requirements of the treaties, but 
also . .to give the Indians certain freedom of movement, and . . . 
to form an Estate which would be of value to them in the future.” 33 

Given the diverse origins of the Indian reserves in Canada, 
it is not surprising that when it became necessary to define the 


land. . . ."or words to that effect. This clause invariably followed 
the stipulation that the Indians had surrendered their rights to the 
entire area over which their aboriginal claims extended. Thus, in all 
of the numbered Treaties, reserves were set aside by the Crown from 
land to which the aboriginal title had been extinguished. They were 
not "reserved" by the Indians from the land cession made to the Crown. 
For evidence that the Indians of the Prairies viewed the matter 
differently, however, see John L. Tobias, "Indian Reserves in Western 
Canada: Indian Homelands or Devices for Assimilation?" in D.A. Muise 

ed., Approaches to Native History in Canada: Papers of a Conference 
Held at the National Museum of Man, October, 1975 , History Division 
Paper #25, National Museum of Man, Mercury Series, (Ottawa: National 
Museums of Canada, 1977), pp. 89-103. 

32 In 1909 Scott was the accountant for the Department of Indian 
Affairs but his interests extended beyond those of a mere bookkeeper. 
Four years later he was appointed Deputy Superintendent General, a 
position equivalent to Deputy Minister in other departments. Ail in al 
Duncan Campbell Scott, who was also a noted poet and author, spent more 
than fifty years in the Indian Affairs bureaucracy. 

33 Duncan Campbell Scott to the Deputy Superintendent General, 
memorandum, March 22, 1909, Department of Indian and Northern Affairs 
File 671/30-12-159 vol. 1. A dispute had arisen as to whether a 
reserve of the same area as that provided for by the terms of Treaty 6 
should be given to a Saskatchewan Indian Sand that had refused to 
adhere to the Treaty. Scott’s position was endorsed by the Deputy 
Superintendent General, Frank Pedley, and even by the Superintendent 
General, Frank Oliver, although the latter added the proviso that most 
of the land be selected in areas undesirable for white settlement. 
Incredible bureaucratic confusion prevented the. band in question from 








IS 


institution for legal purposes, Parliament was deliberately vague. 

The Indian Act of 1876 declared that: 

The term "reserve" means any tract or tracts of land 
set apart by treaty or otherwise for the use and benefit 
of or granted to a particular band of Indians, of which 
the legal title is in the Crown, 3Lf but which is unsur¬ 
rendered, and includes all the trees, wood, timber, soil, 
stone, minerals, metals, or other valuables thereon. 

The law was not only ambiguous on the question of how an Indian reserve 
might have originated, (and therefore on how a new reserve might be est¬ 
ablished) , it was also unclear as to what legal responsibilities the 
Crown assumed for the lands contained within them. Other sections of 
the Indian Act gave the Federal Government full administrative authority 


ever receiving the area of land that had been agreed upon. D.I.N.A., 
File 671/30-12-159 vol. 1, passim . Public Archives of Canada, Records 
of the Department of Indian Affairs (R.G. 10), Vol. 7767, File 
27107-11, passim . P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 7779, File 
27140. Saskatchewan Archives Board, Saskatoon, Homestead Files, 

No. 1215019. 

31+ By the fundamental principle of English land tenure, the 
underlying title to all land was in the Crown. On all lands for which 
patents or grants had not been issued, the full title was assumed to 
remain with the Crown, (although the Indians, by use and occupancy, 
might have established an interest in it). Thus, even in cases where 
a reserve had been created by the Indians’ unwillingness to surrender 
their aboriginal rights to a certain enclave, the "legal title" to such 
land was still considered to be in the Crovm. For a discussion of the 
origin of the theory of English land tenure, see A. W. B. Simpson, An 
Introduction to the History of the Land Law (Oxford: Oxford University 
Press, 1961), pp. 1-23. 

33 Canada, Statutes of Canada . An Act to A me nd and Consolidate 
the Laws Respecting Indians (The Indian Act, 1876) , 39 Vic., Cap 18, 

Sec. 3vi. Essentially the same definition was repeated in all Indian 
Acts until 1951. In the case of the Indian reserves in Quebec and of 
the Lennox Island Reserve in Prince Edward Island, the legal title was 
not held by the Crown but by religious or philanthropic societies. Such 
reserves were designated "special reserves" by the Indian Act . Canada, 
The Indian Act, 1876 , 39 Vic., Cap 18, Sec. 3vii. 





















19 


over reserves. 36 By retaining the title to and administrative control 
of lands which were set aside for the use and benefit of Indian bands, 
the Crown placed itself in a position which resembled that of a legal 
trustee. Whether the statute created any fiduciary responsibilities 
for reserve lands has not yet been decided by the Courts. 37 

The Crown's fiduciary responsibility was perhaps most relevant 
to the question of how lands set aside for the use and benefit of a 
particular band could be legally alienated. Historically, the pro¬ 
cedure for reserve land surrenders evolved from the process for the 
cession of aboriginal rights. The Proclamation of 1763 had estab¬ 
lished a Crown monopoly for the purchase of Indian lands, and stipu¬ 
lated that the transaction must be agreed to at a public meeting of 
the Indians called for that purpose. 33 From 1763 forward, treaties 
designed to extinguish aboriginal rights and contracts for the sale 
of reserve lands alike, were usually negotiated according to the 
relatively simple requirements of the Proclamation. 36 After Confed- 


36 Canada, The Indian Act, 1876 , 39 Victoria, Cap 18, Secs. 

4-60. 

3/ The Courts have proved very reluctant to find that the 
Crown has any fiduciary responsibilities. See L. C. Green, "Trustee¬ 
ship and Canada's Indians," Dalhousie Law Journal , Vol. 3, No. 1 
(1976), pp. 104-135. 

38 Royal Proclamation, October 7, 1763, Canada, Revised 
Statutes of Canada (1970), Appendix II, No. 1., pp. 123-129. 

3 "There were, of course, exceptions, particularly in the 
Maritime provinces, where the alienation of Indian reserve lands 
was often accomplished without the consent of the Indians concerned. 
Cumming and Mickenberg, Native Rights , pp. 100-105. 













20 


eration a distinction began to be made, however. Treaties continued 
to be negotiated at large public meetings of the Indians and the 
Federal Government's commissioners, with little or no statutory 
guidance. 40 But surrenders of reserve lands were made the subject of 
particular legislation in 1868, when Parliament declared that no 
release or surrender would be valid or binding unless it was assented 
to by the chief (or a majority of the chiefs) of the band interested, 
at a meeting of the band called in accordance with the rules of the 
band for the purpose of considering the surrender, and held in the 
presence of a duly authorized official of the Federal Government. The 
same Act also stipulated that no Indian who did not habitually reside 
on or near the lands to be surrendered would be entitled to attend the 
meeting; that one of the chiefs of the band and the government official 
authorized to attend the surrender meeting must swear on oath before 
sane Judge of a Superior, County, or District Court that the release 
or surrender had been properly assented to; and that the surrender must 
be accepted by the Governor in Council. 41 


40 The treaties assumed a number of forms and were not ratified 
by Parliament, leading most scholars to affirm that they were not 
"treaties" at all, in the sense that the word is used in International 
diplomacy. See L. C. Green, "Legal Significance of Treaties Affecting 
Canada's Indians", Anglo-American Law Review , Vol. 1, No. 1, (1972), 

pp. 119-135. 

41 Canada, Statutes of Canada , An Act Providing for the 
Organization of the Department of Secretary of State of Canada, and 

for the Management of Indian and Ordnance Lands, 1868 , 31 Victoria, 

Cap 42, Sec. 8. 












Eight years later, the Indian Act of 1876 made the requirements 


more stringent. That statute stipulated that: 

25. No reserve or portion of a reserve shall be sold, 
alienated or leased until it has been released or 
surrendered to the Crown for the purposes of this Act. 

26. No release or surrender of a reserve, or portion 
of a reserve, held for the use of the Indians of any 
band or of any individual Indian shall be valid or 
binding, except on the following conditions:- 

1. The release or surrender shall be assented 
to by a majority of the male members of the 
band of the full age of twenty-one years, at a 
meeting or council thereof summoned for that 
purpose according to their rules, and held in 
the presence of the Superintendent-General, 1+2 
or of an officer duly authorized to attend such 
council by the Governor in Council or by the 
Superintendent-General; Provided that no Indian 
shall be entitled to vote or be present at such 
council, unless he habitually resides on or near 
and is interested in the reserve in question; 

2. The fact that such release or surrender has been 
assented to by the band at such council or meeting, 
shall be certified on oath before some judge of a 
superior, county, or district court, or stipendiary 
magistrate, by the Superintendent-General or by the 
officer authorized by him to attend such council 

or meeting, and by some one of the chiefs or 
principal men present thereat and entitled to vote, 
and when so certified as aforesaid shall be submitted 
to the Governor in Council for acceptance or 
refusal;- 43 


4 ~The Superintendent General of Indian Affairs was the Cabinet 
Minister responsible for the administration of Indian Affairs. In 
1876, the Minister of the Interior held this position. After 1880, 
however, Indian Affairs was made a separate portfolio, although, until 
the 1930's, the duties of the Superintendent General and of the Minister 
of the Interior were usually performed by the same individual. 

43 T'rie Indian Act, 1876 , 39 Vic., Cap 18, Secs. 25 and 26, i, 
ii. Subsection 3 of section 26 provided that the Superintendent 
General could issue licenses to cut and remove urees, wood, timber, 
hay, stone, or gravel, after receiving the ordinary consent of the 
band concerned. 








22 


These legal requirements remained virtually unchanged until 1951. 44 

While the general procedure for taking surrenders was clear 
enough, the wording of the Indian Act was ambiguous on a number of key 
points. The "rules" of many bands were rather vague and uncertain, 
and it was therefore often questionable whether a meeting had been 
called in accordance with them or not. Furthermore, no precise defi¬ 
nition was given of how "near" a reserve a participant in a surrender 
vote would have to reside. The most significant ambiguity, however, 
concerned the nature of the "majority" that would be required. When 
the bill was before the House of Commons, the Superintendent General 
of Indian Affairs, David Laird, declared that a valid surrender would 
require the consent of merely a majority of those present at the 
surrender meeting, and not a majority of the total adult male member¬ 
ship of the band. 45 The practice of the Department reflected Laird's 


44 There were of course, minor changes to these provisions. In 
1898, the class of officials before whom the required affidavits could 
be sw r orn was expanded to include the Indian Commissioner for Manitoba 
and the North West Territories, the Indian Superintendent for British 
Columbia, and Justices of the Peace. A significant proviso was also 
added in 1911, under the terns of which Indian reserves within the 
boundaries of incorporated cities whose population exceeded 8000, could 
be exempted from the surrender provisions of the Act. In these cases, 
Indian reserves could be sold without the consent of the band concerned, 
upon the authority of an Exchequer Court judge who would be appointed 
administrator of the lands and guardian of the Indians' interests. 

While the implications of this amendment were great, it did not alter 
the existing surrender requirements, but rather established a process 
whereby certain reserves could be exempted from them. Canada, Statute s 
of Canada , 61 Victoria (1898), Cap 34, Sec. 3. Canada, Statutes of 
Canada , 1 George 5 (1911), Cap 14, Sec. 2. 

45 Canada, Parliament, Debates of the House of Commons , Session 
1876 (Ottawa: Queen's Printer, 1877), pp. 752 and 928-929, 











23 


opinion until 1914, 48 and the printed forms of the affidavits used by 
government officials before that date merely required the deponents to 
swear that a surrender had been assented to by a majority of those 
present at a properly called meeting. 47 On the other hand, when the 
matter was later brought before the Department of Justice for a legal 
opinion, the legal advisers to the Crown twice replied that the law 
was ambiguous, but that the better interpretation would be that a 
majority of all the adult male members of the band was required. ,8 A 
Royal Commission of three Manitoba judges emphatically concurred with 
this opinion in 1912. 49 The question has yet to be finally determined 


4 ^Canada, Debates of the House of Commons , Session 1910-11, 

Vol. Ill, col. 5871. Duncan Campbell Scott, "Instructions for the 
Guidance of Indian Agents in Connection with the Surrender of Indian 
Reserves," May 15, 1914. Copy in P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, 

Vol. 7995, File 1/34-1-0. 

47 Canada, Department of Indian Affairs, "Form No. 66." A copy 
of this form can be found in P.A.C., Records of the Privy Council 
(R.G. 2), Series 1, Vol. 431, P.C. 2329/1889. (October 12, 1889.) 

43 E. L. Newcombe to the Deputy Superintendent General of 
Indian Affairs, January 15, 1894, and E. L. Newcombe to the Deputy 
Superintendent General of Indian Affairs, March 13, 1907. P.A..C., 
Records of the Department of Justice (R.G. 13), Series 3, Vol. 103, 
pp. 424-425 and Vol. 140, pp. 757-759 respectively. In the second of 
these cases, Newcombe acknowledged that if read by themselves, the 
words of the Statute would require the majority of the total band to 
give assent to a surrender, but under the peculiar circumstances cf the 
case under consideration, (all of the Indians of Nova Scotia, were con¬ 
sidered to belong to one band), a majority of those present at the 
surrender meeting would suffice. On both occasions Newcombe strongly 
urged that the law be amended to end the uncertainty. His advice was 
not followed. 

49 "Indian Reserve Surrender Upset by Commission," The Winnipeg 
Telegram , January 5, 1912, pp. 1-2, S, and 15. The full text of the 
Royal Commission Report is reprinted in this newspaper, and this 
version appears to be the only one available to the public. The 
Commission, consisting of Judges Locke, Prud 1 homme, and Myers, was 
appointed, to investigate the surrender of the St. Peter’s Reserve 










24 


by tshe Courts. 5 0 

The surrender of the Passpasschase Reserve, was to be the first 
surrender for sale 51 of any Indian Reserve in the Canadian North West 

r o 

following the passage of the 1876 Indian Act .As such, it was not 
the result of any clear government policy, but of a coincidence of 
largely unexpected events. In such circumstances the ambiguities of 
the surrender provisions of the Indian Act would assume some impor¬ 
tance. 


near Selkirk, Manitoba. The nature of the majority necessary for a 
surrender under the Indian Act was the issue upon which the judges 
reached their conclusion that the surrender had been invalid. They 
divided two to one, but while Justices Locke and Prud'homme gave 
detailed arguments for their view that a majority of the total adult 
male membership of the band was required, Justice Myers merely stated 
that he disagreed with his colleagues, without providing any reasons 
for his view. 

5(1 This question is one of those currently at issue in the land 
claim of the Enoch's Band, which is before the Federal Court of Canada. 
Cardinal v. The Queen , Statement of Claim, June 30, 1975. Filed in 
The Federal Court of Canada, July 15, 1975. 

^“A surrender of a reserve was made by the Indians of Treaty 7 
in 1833. This surrender was for the purpose of exchanging reserve 
land, however, not so that land could be sold. P.A.C., Privy Council 
Records, Series 1, Vol. 299, P.C. 400/1885 (January 24, 1885) . 

52 A surrender of one square mile of the St. Peter's Reserve, 
near Selkirk had been made in 1875. P.A.C., Privy Council Records, 

Series 1, Vol. 115, P.C. 1037/1875 (October 16, 1875). 








CHAPTER II 


THE TREATY AND THE BAND 


The petition against the Indian reserve 
at the Two Hills, gives as reasons why it should 
not be granted there—-First—because the Indians 
are not satisfied with it f and ordered the survey 
to be stopped. Second—-because they have no right 
to it, not being natives of this part of the 
country. Third—because it will oblige the neigh¬ 
boring settlers to leave their claims, as it takes 
in their hay ground and wood land. And fourth-— 
because it is disadvantageous to all parties to 
have an Indian reserve so close to a business 
centre. A fifth reason might be added—because 
the land is needed by better men. 

— The Bulletin , January 31, 1881. 


25 





26 


The land upon which the Passpasschase Reserve came to be est¬ 
ablished was included within the vast area granted by King Charles II 
to the Hudson's Bay Company in 1670. Representatives of that company 
did not penetrate into the Edmonton district for almost a century, and 
when they did, there is no evidence to indicate that they attempted to 
extinguish any Indian rights to the soil. 1 * The Proclamation of 1763 
specifically exempted Rupert's Land from its provisions concerning the 
Indian Territory created west of the AppalachiansNevertheless, the 
Hudson's Bay Company was cognizant of the possibility that some abo¬ 
riginal rights might be held to exist in its territories. It has pur¬ 
chased the Indian interest in some of the lands bordering on Hudson's 
Bay in the late seventeenth century. 3 4 Lord Selkirk had made a similar 
treaty with the native tribes in the vicinity of the Red River in 
1817 . 14 And, in the agreement whereby Canada purchased Rupert's Land 
in 1870, the Company was careful to exempt itself from any liability 
to compensate the Indians of the territory for lands required for 
settlement. 5 


^E. E. Rich, Hudson's Bay Company, 1670-1870 (Toronto: 
McClelland and Stewart, 1960, Vol. I, pp. 62-63. 

^Camming and Mickenberg, Native. Righ ts, p. 167. 

3 Morton, History of the Canadian West , pp. 50 and 67. 

4 Ibid ., pp. 591-592. Morris, Treaties , pp. 13-15, 298-300. 

°S. Northcote, G. E. Cartier and W. McDougall, Memorandum. 
"Details of Agreement between the Delegates of the Government of the 
Dominion and the Directors of the Hudson's Bay Company," March 22, 
1869, pt. 8. Copy in P.A.C., Sir Join A. Macdonald Papers (M.G. 26A), 
Vol. 101, No. 40061-40103. 


















27 


When Canada acquired the North West, she did so with the clear 
intention of opening it to agricultural settlement. If such settlement 
were to proceed peacefully, it was apparent that some accommodation 
would have to be made with the Indian and Metis inhabitants of the arable 
portions of the territories and the Canadian approaches to them—a point 
that was driven home by the tragicomic events of 1869-70. The means by 
which the Canadian Government attempted to satisfy the Metis cannot be 
dealt with here, and its general policy towards the Indians of the 
North West must, of necessity, be dealt with summarily except as it is 
reflected by events of importance to the Passpasschase Band. 

The administrations of John A. Macdonald and Alexander 
Mackenzie were perhaps not disinclined to concede that the Indians 
possessed certain ill-defined rights to the soil, and to extinguish 
the same before proceeding with the settlement of the country, but 
they were not predisposed to move hastily in the matter.^ Many cf the 


^Evidence for this statement is provided by the instruc¬ 
tions given to William McDougall and to Adams Archibald upon their 
respective appointments as Governor of the North West Territories. 

E. A. M[eredith], Under Secretary of State, to William McDougall, 

Sept. 28, 1869, P.A.C., Records of the Secretary of State for the 
Provinces (R.G. 6 C-l), Vol. 9, File 929. E. A. Meredith to 
A. Archibald, Aug. 4, [1870], P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 448. 

Macdonald was personally unwilling to give too much importance to 
Indian rights. John A. Macdonald to J. Rose, Dec. 5, 1869, P.A.C., 
Macdonald Papers, Letterbook 13, p. 646. In 1873, the Federal Govern¬ 
ment decided to postpone indefinitely the negotiation of any Indian 
treaties west of Manitoba. Alexander Campbell to Alexander Morris, 

Aug. 5, 1873; and same to same, Aug. 6, 1873, in Public Archives of 
Manitoba, Alexander Morris Papers, Items 38 and 39. The Liberal 
administration of Alexander Mackenzie was similarly reluctant to incur 
the expense of a treaty with the Blackfeet, unless it was absolutely 
necessary. A. Mackenzie to Lt. Governor Morris, (telegram) July 28, 
1876, P.A.C., Alexander Morris Papers (Manitoba), Telegram Book No. 2. 





Indians, by contrast, were anxious to have the matter settled. They 
had been greatly disconcerted when they learned that the Hudson's Bay 
Company had sold the lands they had always regarded as their own, 7 and 
were prepared to take action to force recognition of their claims. 8 

Beginning in 1871, the Canadian Government negotiated a series 
of seven treaties with the Indians of its newly acquired territory, 
covering the territory from the height of land west of Lake Superior to 
the Rocky Mountains, and from the American border to the northern edge 
of the Saskatchewan River and Lake Winnipeg basins. The treaties were 
not easily concluded, 8 and the Canadian authorities were compelled to 


7 See Sweetgrass's message to Governor Archibald, April 12, 

1871, reprinted in Morris, Treaties , pp. 170-171, and the extensive 
discussion of this issue in the negotiation of Treaty 4 in 1874. 

Ibid ., pp. 77-123. 

8 1he Indians of the Lake of the Woods district insisted that 
no whites should cut timber on their lands until a treaty was made. 
Robert Pither [to Gov. Archibald], Oct. 14, 1870, in P.A.M., Archibald 
Papers, Item No. 34. The Indians near Portage la Prairie refused to 
allow Canadian immigrants to farm their lands until the Indian rights 
to it had been purchased. Rev. William Fletcher to Archibald, Oct. 25, 
1870, ibid ., Item No. 58. They threatened to seize the improvements of 
any settler who defied them: Moosoos, Notice witnessed by Fred Bird, 
Dec. 17, 1870, ibid ., Item No. 150. Crees near Fort Carlton halted a 
geological survey party, and threatened to force the cessation of the 
construction of a telegraph line because the treaty which they had 
been promised had not been made: A. Morris, telegram to D. Laird, 

July 21, 1875; same to same, Aug. 3, 1875, both in P.A.C., Alexander 
Morris Papers (Manitoba), Telegram Book No. 2. Besides these 
treatened and threatening actions, there were many other pleas from 
Indian bands throughout the North West asking that the authorities make 
a treaty with them. 

^Morris, Treaties , passim . Treaties 2 and 5 did not involve 
much hard bargaining. Treaty 2, however, was made with only a small 
proportion of the Indians living within the surrendered tract. 

Kenneth J. Tyler, "The Treaty-Making Process in Western Canada 1869- 
1877. A Preliminary Report: The First Western Treaties 1869-1372," an 
unpublished paper prepared for Treaty and Aboriginal Rights Research of 
the Indian Association of Alberta in June of 1974, and held in the 
T.A.R.R. office in Edmonton, Alberta. 












29 


concede considerably more generous terms than they had intended. In 
1871, the Secretary of State for the Provinces, Joseph Howe, had ins¬ 
tructed Commissioner W. M. Simpson to offer the Indians an annuity of 
$2.40 per capita and reserves of an unspecified size, in return for the 
surrender of all aboriginal rights to the soil. 10 This proved quite 
insufficient, and Simpson was obliged to promise a larger annuity, 
agricultural implements, livestock, and the maintenance of schools, in 
addition to certain other minor provisions. 11 Treaty Three, nego¬ 
tiated by Lieutenant Governor Alexander Morris in 1873, added a guar¬ 
antee of Indian hunting and fishing rights on unoccupied Crown lands, 
and a yearly grant of ammunition and twine to aid them in these pur- 
suits. Three years later, Treaty Six, which was negotiated with the 
Cree Indians of the Saskatchewan River Valleys and adhered to by the 
Passpasschase Band, further added provisions for a medicine chest to 
be maintained by each Indian Agent, and for a small amount of food to 
be distributed for three years at seed time. It also contained a more 
ominous advance over terms of the earlier treaties: an equivocally 
worded guarantee of Government relief in the event of a general pest- 
ilence or famine. The buffalo, upon which the Plains Indians were 
heavily dependent for so many of the necessaries of life, were rapidly 

10 Joseph Howe to W. M. Simpson, S. J. Dawson and Robert Pither, 
May 6, 1871; in P.A.M., Archibald Papers, Item No. 289. 

^Morris, Treaties , pp. 126-127, 313-320, and 338-339. 

12 Ibid ., pp. 323-324. 

13 


Ibid ., pp. 354-355. 






':V. 


diminishing, and the spectre of impending starvation haunted the 
Crees. 14 Alexander Morris, who negotiated the Treaty for the Canadian 
Government, reported that no agreement would have been possible without 
the inclusion of such a promise, 15 and Mackenzie's cabinet was forced 
to accept this "unfortunate clause". 16 The costly problem of keeping 
the North Western Indians from complete and utter starvation was to 
cast a long shadow over Indian administration in the decade following 
1876. 17 

Chief Passpasschase and his Headman and brother, Tahkoots, sign¬ 
ed an adhesion to this Treaty on August 21, 1877 at Fort Edmonton. 18 
Two hundred and two members of their Band accepted their annuities 


14 See P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3668, File 10,49G; 
Vol. 3671, File 10,836-2, passim . 

15 A. Morris to the Minister of the Interior, March 27, 1377, 
in P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3636, File 6694-2. 

16 D. Laird to David Mills, April 17, 1378, in P.A.C., Indian 
Affairs Records, Vol. 3654, File 8904. 

17 The Canadian Government expended $2,250,000 for relief to 
the starving Indians,of Treaties 4, 6, and 7 in that period. John 
Schultz to Superintendent General of Indian Affairs, May 27, 18S6, in 
P.A.C., Macdonald Papers, Vol. 154, No. 62807-62820. 

18 Morris, Treaties , pp. 360-361. Also, Canada, Privy Council, 
Order in Council, July 17, 1878, P.A.C., Privy Council Records, Series 
1, Vol. 163, P.C. 619/1878. This Order in Council accepts the adhesion 
to Treaty of Chiefs Alexis and Alexander, who entered Treaty on the 
same occasion. It overlooks the adhesion of Passpasschase, however. 
Like many other Indian names, "Passpasschase" was spelled in a bewild¬ 
ering variety of ways. "Passpasschase," which is the spelling employed 
throughout this account, is the form most commonly employed in the 
Records of the Department of Indian Affairs. "Pahpastayo," however, 
was also frequently used, and it would appear to have been a closer 
representation of the actual Cree pronunciation. In the 1880's, 
government officials translated the name as "Woodpecker". 








with them. 19 Of this number almost a quarter, including the chief, 
were descended from John Quinn, or Kwenis, and his wife Lizette Gladu 
—two Cree Metis from the vicinity of Lesser Slave Lake. 20 This family 
had moved to Edmonton House in the late 1850's, 21 where they undertook 
work for the Hudson's Bay Company and hunted in the Beaver Hills to the 
South East. 22 The Quinn family, or the "Tah-coots outfit" as it was 
not affectionately denominated, 23 did not have an enviable reputation 
with other Edmonton residents. Tahkoots, called "The Murderer", 24 was 


19 Canada, Department of Indian and Northern Affairs, Geneal¬ 
ogical and Archival Research Unit, Annuity Paysheets for Treaties 4, 

6, and 7, 1874-1878 - Passpasschase Band; records in the possession of 
D.I.N.A., Ottawa. 

20 Ibid ., and P.A.C., Records of the Department of the Interior 
(R.G. 15), Vol. 1364, File "Quinney to Quintal". John Quinn had six 
sons; Passpasschase, alias John Gladu Quinn; Batteau, alias Charles 
Gladu Quinn; Tahkoots, alias William Gladu Quinn; Satooch, alias 
Edward Gladu Quinn; George Meecham, alias George Gladu Quinn; and 
Abraham Gladu Quinn. Passpasschase and Tahkoots both had more than one 
wife, and all six brothers had large families. 

21 See the Half-Breed Scrip Applications for Abraham Quinn, 
Charles Quinn or Gladu, George Quinn, John Quinns Gladu, Lizette Gladu 
Quinns; all July 31/ 1886; and Edward Quinn, alias Gladu, July 28, 

1886; in P.A.C., Interior Records, Vol. 1364, File "Quinney to Quintal. 
Passpasschase appears to have come to Edmonton in 1856, the others in 
1858 or 1859. 


22 Ibid . Also P. H. Belcher and John A. McDougall, petition to 
Sir John A. Macdonald, n.d., [January 13, 1881] in P.A.C., Indian 
Affairs Records, Vol. 3737, File 27,596. "Mass Meeting", The Bulletin , 
(Edmonton, N.W.T.), January 17, 1881, p.l. 

23 "Edmonton", Saskatchewan Herald , (Battleford, N.W.T.), 
September 27, 1880, p.2. The Herald's Edmonton correspondent was 
Frank Oliver. 


24 G. A. Simpson to the Superintendent General of Indian Affairs 
December 1, 1.880; in Canada, House of Commons, Sessional Papers for 
1880-31 , Vol. XIV, (No. 14), p. 108. 











32 


one important reason. Two visitors in 1870 told of four treacherous 
murders in which he had participated in that year alone, 25 all upon 
Sarcees and Blackfeet. One of these outrages brought about a short¬ 
lived Blackfoot attack on Fort Edmonton in retaliation. 26 The Hudson's 
Bay Company would attempt to purchase the safety of Blackfoot trading 
parties from Tahkoots and his friends, but this was not very success¬ 
ful. The marauders would take the bribe, but only honour the agree¬ 
ment if it suited them. 27 

With the Quinn family there were associated other Cree who had 
come to live and hunt near Edmonton House: Cardinals, Brunneaus, 
Daigneaults, Decoynes, Gladus, Godins, Wards, Bernards, Batoches, 
Lapotacs, and others, many of whom had drifted west from the vicinity 
of Saddle Lake and Lac la Biche in the two decades previous to the 
treaty. 28 There were also pensioners of the Hudson's Bay Company-- 
long-time servants who could no longer hunt or freight and women who 
were the widows or abandoned wives of Company employees, with their 
numerous children. 28 Most of these people were of mixed white and 

25 Butler, Great Lone Land , pp. 259-260, and 388, and 
Harrison S. Young, "Impressions of Fort Edmonton," reprinted in the 
Alberta Historical Beview , Vol. 13, No. 1, (Winter, 1966), pp. 22-25. 

^ 6 Young, "Impressions." 

z7 Butler, Great Lone Land , p. 388. 

28 See the Half-Breed Scrip Applications for 1885, 1886, and 
1900, in P.A.C., Interior Records, Vois. 1325-1371 p assim , for further 
information on these families. 

29 A. S. Morton, Canadian West , pp. 699-702; P„ H. Belcher and 
John A. McDougall to Sir John A. Macdonald, n.d., [January 13, 1881], 
P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3737, File 27,596; "Edmonton," 













Indian blood, and much would soon be made of this fact by the growing 
white community at Edmonton, but they were evidently quite distinct 
from the Metis communities at St. Albert and Lac Ste. Anne. While many 

could speak both English and French, * * 3 ^ almost all were more comfortable 

3 1 

in the use of the Cree language. While a few of them may have 
embraced the Catholic or Methodist faith, the great majority clung 
to the traditional Cree beliefs, and the Passpasschase Reserve appears 
to have been a centre for Indian religious dances and festivals. 33 
The Oblate priest assigned to shepherd this band presented a pathetic 
picture, usually unable to locate his flock, and rarely persuading 
anyone to attend Mass. 34 Although they had been living in close 
proximity to one of the major centres of the North West for a quarter 


Saskatchewan Herald , September 13, 1880, p. 3; "Mass Meeting,” The 
Bulletin , January 17, 1881, p. 1. 

3 Indians?," Edmonton Bulletin , April 15, 1882, p. 2. Frank 
Oliver's Edmonton newspaper was originally titled The Bulletin and 
maintained that name from the date of its first issue on December 6, 
1880, until mid-February of 1881. Commencing with the issue of 
February 21, 1881, the newspaper adopted the name of Edmonton Bulletin , 
which it employed thereafter. 

3 ^In almost every case the half-breed scrip application 
questions were translated into Cree for those members of the Passpass¬ 
chase Band claiming to be Metis. This fact takes on added significance 
when it is remembered that at that time the applicants were anxiously 
trying to prove their white ancestry. P.A.C., Interior Records, Vols. 
1325-1371 passim . 

3 ibid . Some baptismal certificates were presented to the 
Half-Breed Commission. 

33 "Ooh-ne-pah-qua-see-moo-we-kah-mick," Edm on ton Bulletin , 

July 8, 1882, p. 1; "The Thirst Dance,” ibid ., June 14, 1884, p. 3; 
untitled item, ibid ., April 18, 1885, p. 2. 

34 R. P. Zeph. Lizee, "Mon Journal Prive de 7-7-84 a 19-1-37," 
Alberta Provincial Archives, Edmonton, Oblate Papers, entries for 













of a century by 1884, Indian Commissioner Edgar Dewdney still thought 

them "more Indian in action and appearance" than any he had met in 
■a c 

some time. 

It was this rather troublesome group which gave its adhesion 
to Treaty Six in August of 1877. M. G. Dickieson, clerk and general 
assistant to the Lieutenant Governor of the North West Territories, 
received the adhesion. He reported the Edmonton Bands' 30 as generally 
willing to settle on reserves and to farm. The Indians were very poor, 

q *7 

but he believed that some were industrious "(for Indians)". They had 
been gardening with wooden spades and hoes, and were rather short of 
seed. Dickieson urged that help be extended to the Edmonton Bands, 
and obtained the promised cooperation of North West Mounted Police 

q q 

Inspector Jarvis. He returned to the seat of government at Battle- 

q q 

ford, and a little aid was sent. Lieutenant Governor and Indian 
Superintendent for the North West Territories, David Laird, recommended 


aout 12, 26, 28, and 29, 1886. 

35e. Dewdney to the Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs, 
November 10, 1884, in P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3700, 

File 16,692-1. 

36 Chiefs Alexis and Alexander with their respective Bands also 
entered the Treaty on August 21, 1877. See n. 18 supra . 

37 M. G. Dickieson, memorandum, n.d., [September 14, 1877], in 
P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3656, File 9092. 

3s Ibid. 

3 ^Ey June 30, 1878, Passpasschase 1 * 3 4 s Band had received 1 plough, 
1 harrow, 2 whipple tree sets, 8 trace chains, 4 scythes, 4 snaiths, 

4 hay forks, 9 axes, 7 hoes, 5 spades, 5 sickles, 2 oxen, 2 carts with 
harness, 24 bushels of seed barley and 36 bushels of seed potatoes„ 
Department of Interior, "Statement showing distribution of Implements, 
Cattle, Seed, Grain etc. to the Indians of Treaty No, 6, up to 






that surveyors should be sent to lay out the Indian reserves in the 
near future, * * * 4 ^ but it was to be almost three years before any such 
action was undertaken in the Edmonton district. 

In the meantime the Passpasschase Band was left to its own 
devices. Dickieson returned in September of 1878 to make the annuity 
payments 41 prescribed by Treaty Six. He found that while about forty 
people had left the band, about seventy had joined it in the inter¬ 
vening year. 42 Some of the Indians had tried to farm with their 
Treaty implements, but had done very poorly. 43 The chase still seemed 
a surer means of support. 

But within twelve months, the chase was to fail completely. 

The buffalo disappeared from the Canadian Prairies north of Cypress 
Hills, and hungry bands of Crees and Assiniboines descended on Fort 
Edmonton. They soon had depleted the local game and were left in a 
starving condition. 44 They undoubtedly would -have trekked the 220 


30th June, 1878,” in Canada, Sessional Papers for 1879 , Vol. XII 
(No. 7), pt. 1, pp. 62-63. 

40 David Laird to David Mills, November 19, 1877, P.A.C., 

Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3656, File 9092. 

41 "Edmonton," Saskatchewan Herald , October 7, 1878, p. 1; 
"Edmonton," ibid ., November 4, 1878, p. 1. 

42 D.I.N.A„, Annuity Paysheets for 1S74-1878 - Passpasschase 

Band, 

4 3 

M. G. Dickieson to L. Vankoughnet, February 26, 1879, P.A.C. 
Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3672, File 10,853 Vol. 1. 

44 Ibid.; David Laird to E. A. Meredith, October 3, 1878, P.A.C 
Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3658, File 9399 1/2; David Laird to the 
Minister of the Interior, June 30, 1879, P.A.C., Indian Affairs 
Records, Vol. 3698, File 16,142. 














miles to the only Indian Office in the Treaty, at Battleford, had not 
steps been taken to prevent the congregation of such a desperate multi¬ 
tude of Indians from all over the North West. The Hudson's Bay Company 
and Inspector Jarvis were authorized to distribute provisions on the 
Indian Branch's account at Edmonton and Fort Saskatchewan, as well as at 
many other localities. By June 30 of 1879, 3,700 lbs. of flour, 

1,038 lbs. of pemmican, and 2,100 lbs. of pounded meat had been dis¬ 
tributed at the two places named alone, 1+5 and much more had to be given 
before the year was out. 

The body of men to whom the Canadian Government had entrusted 
Indian Affairs in the North West was totally inadequate to meet the 
growing crisis in the food supply of the North West Indians. Lieu¬ 
tenant Governor David Laird at Battleford was Indian Superintendent for 
the North West Territories. He had for his assistants two men: 

M. G. Dickieson, his young clerk, also at Battleford, serving as Agent 
for Treaty Six, and Captain Allan McDonald, at Shoal River, who was 
Agent for Treaty Four in what was to become Southern Saskatchewan. 

Laird realized that more men were needed, and recommended that some of 
the North West Mounted Police Officers, including Inspector Jarvis at 
Fort Saskatchewan, be given the authority to act as Indian Agents in 
addition to their police duties. 40 How 7 ever, Minister of the Interior 

45 M. G. Dickieson to the Minister of the Interior, July 21, 

1879, P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol, 3697, File 3.5,678. 

46 D. Laird to D. Mills, January 23, 1878, P.A.C. 

Affairs Records, Vol. 3658, File 9399 1/2. 


, Indian 





37 


David Mills, who was already concerned that $60,000 had been over¬ 
expended by the Indian Branch in the North West Territories in 1877, 
was not about to allow any appointments which might entail additional 

expense, and flatly rejected the proposal, 47 even though police offi- 

4 R 

cers had for some time been performing many Indian Branch duties. 

The situation became a great deal worse when Mr. Laird 

4 Q 

resigned as Indian Superintendent on January 1, 1879. He was weary 
of seeing his warnings that it would be necessary to feed the Indians 
or fight them, ignored, 50 somewhat uneasy about the heavy financial 
responsibilities of the office, 51 and no doubt uncomfortable in the 
service of a new Conservative Ministry. The entire responsibility for 
the fulfilment of the terms of Treaties Four, Six and Seven, fell upon 
Mr. Dickieson, 52 just as it was becoming apparent that a "general 
famine" such as was anticipated by the terms of Treaty Six, was 
settling over the North West. 


47 D. Mills to D. Laird, March 26, 1878; and same to same, 

March 28, 1878, both in P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3658, 

File 9399 1/2. 

48 P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3693, File 14,402 

passim . 

k5 D. Laird to the Minister of the Interior, January 1, 1879, 
P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3673, File 11,305. Laird's 
resignation was accepted with no expression of regret. 

50 D, Laird to David Mills, April 17, 1878, P.A.C., Indian 
Affairs Records, Vol.3654, File 8904; and same to same, April 17, 1378; 
D. Mills to D. Laird, May 22, 1878; both in P.A.C., Indian Affairs 
Records, Vol. 3664, File 9825. 

51 D. Laird to the Minister of the Inferior, January I, 1879, 
P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3673, File 11,305. 

5 ^P.A.C„, Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3673, File 11,305 pa ssim . 








38 


The first steps taken by the government of Sir John A. 

Macdonald to alleviate this situation were halting ones. Two new 

Indian Agents were appointed for Treaty Six. 53 one of them, Molyneux 

St. John, a midnight appointee of the Mackenzie government to a 

position in Manitoba, 54 was redirected to take charge as Indian Agent 

at Edmonton. 55 He was ordered to proceed West with the least possible 

delay, in order to supervise the Indians' seeding operations, but, in 

July of 1879 he sent in his resignation without having ever left 

Winnipeg. 55 Desperately, Dickieson called upon Inspector Jarvis to 

distribute seed to those Indians who wished to farm, provisions to 

those who were starving, and the annuity monies to all who had entered 

Treaty in the Edmonton district. 57 Fortunately, the police officer 
5 8 

agreed, but he proved unable to provide the supervision required for 


53 Canada, Privy Council, Order in Council, 
P.A.C., Privy Council Records, Series 1, Vol. 171, 


February 12, 1879, 
P.C. 231/1879. 


P.A.C., 


54 Canada, Privy Council, Order in Council, October 8, 1878, 
Privy Council Records, Series 1, Vol. 166, P.C. 391/1878. 


55 L. Vankoughnet to Molyneux St. John, February 21, 1879, 
P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3648, File 3162-1. 

5 %. St. John to the Minister of the Interior, July 8, 1879, 
P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3648, File 8162-2. The other 
Agent appointed for Treaty 6, Edwin Allen, also refused to take up 
his post. 


57 M. G. Dickieson to L. Vankoughnet, April 18, 1879, P.A.C., 
Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3673, File 11,421. See also P.A.C., 
Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3693, File 14,334 vol. 1, passi m. 

58 M. G. Dickieson to L. Vankoughnet, June 13, 1879, P.A.C., 
Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3673, File 11,421. 





In the autumn, it was reported that 


the Indians' farming operations. 

"the seed had been given [the Indians] last spring rather lavishly, 
and they had put it in as they received it, covering the ground, I am 
told, in some places half an inch thick. 

By the summer of 1879, the Canadian Government had realized 
the necessity for a more comprehensive programme of assistance to the 
Indians of the Western Territories. Edgar Dewdney of Yale, British 
Columbia was appointed Indian Commissioner for Manitoba and the North 
West on May 30, 1879. 60 His duties were to carry out the terms of the 
Treaties under instructions from the Minister of the Interior, to 
represent the government in all matters relating to the management of 
the Indians and the amelioration of their condition, and to supervise 
all officers of the Indian Branch in Treaties Four, Six, and Seven. 

In addition, approximately thirty men were engaged as Farming Instruct 
ors to teach the Indians of the North West how to cultivate the soil. 
These men were also expected to raise crops that could be used to sus- 
tain the starving natives. 

Mr. J. J. McHugh of the County of Russell, Ontario was 

b9 E. Dewdney to Col. J. S. Dennis, September 5, 1879, P.A.C., 
Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3707, File 19,500, 

50 Canada, Privy Council, Order in Council, May 30, 1879, P.A.C 
Privy Council Records, Series 1, Vol. 176, P.C. 749/1879. 

ol Sir John A. Macdonald, memorandum to Privy Council, May 16, 
1879, P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3686, File 13,364. 

S^-L. Vankoughnet, circular to Farm Instructors, June 28, 1879, 
P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3648, File 8162-2. 





40 


appointed Farm Instructor for the Indians near Edmonton. Mr. W. J. 
O'Donnell of the same place was named as his assistant. 88 The two 
arrived at Edmonton on October 4, 1879, 64 and had soon established 
themselves on the Riviere Qui Barre, about twenty miles north west of 
the Fort at the forks of the Lac La Nonne and Lac Ste. Anne trails. 88 
McHugh was to remain at Qui Barre until the spring of 1881, when he 
was moved to Treaty Seven in Southern Alberta, 80 and eventually dis¬ 
missed. Dewdney declared he had been conspiring with all the 

c n 

"sharpers" in the Canadian West. O'Donnell, on the other hand, 
retained his position for almost two decades. 

The farm instructors arrived at Edmonton a full month in 
advance of Colonel James Greene Stewart, the Agent who had been 
appointed to supervise them . 08 Stewart had been an officer of the 
Hudson's Bay Company in the Lake Winnipeg district for many years, 
and in 1879 resided near the city of Winnipeg. He was selected at 

63.^he Indian Officers," Saskatchewan Herald , September 22, 
1879, p. 2 and P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3686, File 13,191 
passim . 

64 "Edmonton—Our News Letter," Saskatchewan Herald , 

November 17, 1879, p. 3. 

85 CJntitled item, Saskatchewan Herald , December 29, 1879, p. 1. 

6d T. P. Wadsworth to Sir John A. Macdonald, December 1, 1881, 
P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3574, File 156. 

67 E. Dewdney to Sir John A. Macdonald, July 15, 1883, P.A.C., 
Macdonald Papers, Vol. 395, No. 189650-189652. 


68 


'Edmonton 


Saskatchewan Herald , December 1, 1879, p. I. 









41 


the instance of Dr. John Schultz, M.P. for Manitoba. 6 ^ 

One of the first problems which confronted the new Agent on 
his arrival at Edmonton was the location of the proposed Passpasschase 
Reserve. The terms of Treaty Six were somewhat indefinite con¬ 
cerning the location of Indian reserves. It was clearly stated that 
the land to be set aside for this purpose was not to exceed one square 
mile for every five persons (128 acres per capita), but, as for 
location, it merely promised "That the Chief Superintendent of Indian 
Affairs shall depute and send a suitable person to determine and set 
apart the reserves for each band, after consulting with the Indians 
thereof as to the locality which may be found to be most suitable for 
them." 70 


69 John Schultz, Joseph Ryan, and J. Dubuc to the Minister of 
the Interior, Ottawa, March 27, 1879, P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, 
Vol. 3643, File 8162-1. Canada, Privy Council, Order in Council, 

July 26, 1379, P.A.C., Privy Council Records, Series 1, Vol. 179, 

P.C. 1097/1879. 

7 "Morris, Treaties , pp. 352-353. Neither the Treaty nor the 
Indian Act provided any clear indication of when and how an Indian 
reserve could be legally established. The surveyors, who consulted 
with the Indians and set out the boundaries of the reserves, seem to 
have received their instructions not from the "Chief Superintendent 
of Indian Affairs" but from the local Indian Affairs authorities. The 
reserves so surveyed were later confirmed by Order in Council. It is 
my opinion that in Treaty 6, the reserves became a legal entity with 
the approval' of the Order in Council, because of the all-encompassing 
provisions of the Dominion Lands Act and the power delegated to the 
Governor in Council therein to withdraw from its operation lands that 
have been or may be reserved for Indians. See Canada, The Indian Act , 
1876, 39 Vic., Cap 18, Sec. 3vi. and Canada, Statutes of Canada, The 
Dominion Lands Ac t, 1372, 35 Vic., Cap 23, Secs. 17-22 and 105. For 
another view on this question, however, see R. Bartlett, "The Estab¬ 
lishment of Reserves in Saskatchewan," unpublished paper prepared for 
the Federation of Saskatchewan Indians (1975), and held in the 
Treaty Rights Research office of the Federation in Regina, Saskatch¬ 
ewan . 










The Passpasschase Band at first decided to ask for their 


reserve to be set out about six to ten miles up Whitemud Creek (pres¬ 
umably somewhere west of present-day Ellerslie), 71 but later recon¬ 
sidered, and declared their desire to have the land immediately across 
the North Saskatchewan from Fort Edmonton. The proposal was not met in 

a friendly spirit by the white and Metis settlers who had taken up 

72 

claims in that vicinity. Both Indians and settlers took their 
respective cases to Colonel Stewart, who appears to have supported the 
wishes of the Passpasschase Band. ° Emboldened by their Agent's atti¬ 
tude, the band turned on the most vulnerable of the settlers. Angus 
McDonald, a forty-year veteran of the Hudson's Bay Company's service, 
had determined to take up farming in the spring of 1879. He decided 
to stake out a claim near the Two Hills, 7tf which was soon to be near 
the centre of the area claimed by Chief Passpasschase and his followers. 
In his first season, McDonald put up a shanty for his living quarters, 
and broke and fenced five or ten acres. Early in the spring of 1880, 
the Indians warned him not to attempt to make any further improvements. 


1 "Edmonton," Saskatchewan Herald , December 29, 

"Indians?,” Edmonton Bulletin , April 15, 1882, p. 2. 

/2, 'Edmonton," Saskatchewan Herald , December 29, 

W. F. King, D.L.S., report to Lindsay Russell, Surveyor 
January 16, I87S, in Canada, Sessional Papers for 1879 , 

(No. 7), pt. II, p. 17. 

73 "Edmonton,” Saskatchewan Herald , December 29, 

"Edmonton," ibi d., April 26, 1880, p. 1. 

74 The "Two Hills" can still be seen, one north and one south 
of 51st Avenue, at about 106th Street. In 1879, it was still necessary 
to stake out claims in the Edmonton district, because no Dominion Lands 
Surveyors had yet laid out any land in the area. See "Edmonton," 
Saskatchewan Herald , June 30, 1879, p. 4 and "Edmonton," ibid ., 

April 26, 1880, p* i. 


1879, p. 1. 


1879, p. 1. 
General, 

Vol. XII 


1879, p. 1; 













43 


7 S 

on what they declared to be their reserve. Prudently, McDonald 
heeded the advice of the Indians. He continued to reside in his 
shanty and cultivate this small area, however, until his residence was 
destroyed by fire in the summer of 1884. The ex-Hudson’s Bay Company 
employee contended that the Indians had committed arson to drive him 
out, but could produce no evidence to support such a charge. He even- 

7 

tually accepted $200 as compensation from the government. Never¬ 
theless, the warning given to Angus McDonald by the Passpasschase Band 
in 1880 was viewed as a foretaste of things to come by the less iso¬ 
lated settlers on the south bank of the river. 77 

Stewart had more pressing problems than the location of pro¬ 
posed reserves, however. Chief among them was the necessity to prevent 
the starvation of the Plains Indians. The Agent arrived as winter was 
closing in, and the provisions on hand were quite inadequate to feed the 
thousands of Crees and Stoneys who would not be able to find enough fish 
and game to keep themselves alive. The Hudson’s Bay Company, on the 
other hand, was well supplied with foodstuffs and quite willing to 
sell them to the government at the high prices current at such isolated 

75,1 Edmonton, " Saskatchewan Herald , April 26, 1880, p. 1. 

7 fi 

W. Anderson to the Indian Commissioner, December 27, 1884? 

Hayter Reed to the Superintendent General of Indian Affairs, 

January 15, -1885; E. Dewdney to the Superintendent General, February 7, 
1885; W. McGirr to the Superintendent General, March 23, 1885, all in 
P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3705, File 17,956. 

77 "Edmonton," Saskatchewan Herald , April 26, 1880, p. 1. 






44 


posts. Stewart had soon incurred a magnificent debt on the govern¬ 
ment's behalf. He was later to claim, with a great deal of justice, 
that this was unavoidable, and there can be no denying that the 
suffering amongst the Plains Indians during the winter of 1879-1880 
was intense. But the newly installed Agent added to the account small 
items such as raisins, sugar, and chocolate which his superiors were 
sure to regard as extravagant. Furthermore, the bands nearest Edmonton 
received an inordinate share of the bounty. The Passpasschase Band, as 
the closest group to Fort Edmonton, was especially favoured. Stewart 
insisted that while it might be true that these Indians had received 
more food than any others, he had made them work for it. 78 Other 
Edmontonians did not see things in the same light, however. Frank 
Oliver, the Edmonton correspondent for the Saskatchewan Herald , 
reported that Chief Passpasschase and his brothers, 

. . . previous to the 'civilizing' policy of the Dominion 
Government and its generous distribution of provisions to 
the destitute Indians, were able to do a good day's work 
at anything where plenty of muscle was required. Since 
that time, however, they have found out a trick worth two 
cf going to work, and a dollar and a-half and grub has 
lost its charms for them. . . . 

They had a good time of it last winter: nothing to 
do but to hitch up their horses and drive over to the 
Indian Agent's store and get their rations. - 


78por 'the whole question of the government's dismissal of 
Stewart for incompetence and extravagance, see P.A.C., Indian Affairs 
Records, Vol. 3695, File 14,875. Also, "Edmonton," Saskatchewan 
H erald , April 26, 1880, p. 1; L. Vankoughnet to Sir John A. 

Macdonald, October 4, 1880: same to same, October 14, 1880? in P.A.C.. 
Macdonald Papers, Vol. 293, No.. 134064-134065 and No. 134073-134075 
respectively; "Edmonton Agency," Ed monton Bulletin , January 3, 1881, 

p. 2. 

78 "Edmonton," Saskatchewan Herald , September 27, 1880, p. 2. 








45 


A few months later, however, when Oliver saw that the government could 
also be attacked for its persecution of Stewart, his new newspaper. The 
Bulletin , was to assert that Colonel Stewart had not spent any more 
public money than had been necessary. 80 

While the large expenditures would certainly have jeopardised 
his future with the Indian Branch, it was Stewart's incompetence in 
financial affairs that sealed his fate. He seems to have been per¬ 
petually confused as to the amounts he had received from the government, 
and the purposes for which they were to be expended. What was worse, 
he had adopted the simple expedient of charging his personal bills to 
the government account, and carelessly extending permission to his 
superiors to deduct such amounts from his salary. This might have 
been somewhat more acceptable had not these personal bills sometimes 
amounted to several hundred dollars in excess of his wages. Even 
before Indian Commissioner Dewdney arrived to investigate the large 
expenditure for rations, the Deputy Superintendent General of Indian 
Affairs, Lawrence Vankoughnet, had decided to suspend the Agent for 
these personal .irregularities. 81 Stewart was still in office, however, 
when Mr. George A. Simpson, D.L.S., arrived to survey the boundaries 
of the Indian reserves in the district. The Surveyor made the laying 
out of Passpasschase's Reserve his first order of business. The Chief 
had somewhat moderated his earlier stand, and now asked for a reserve 
two miles south of the North Saskatchewan. Simpson convinced him and 

80 "Edmonton Agency," Edmonton Bulletin . January 3, 1881, p. 2. 

81 See P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3695, File 14,875. 















his band to retreat a further two miles from the river bank. Upon 


being informed that 241 persons had been recognized as members of the 

Q O 

band at the previous year's annuity payments, Simpson calculated that 
the Indians were entitled to a reserve of 48 square miles, and promised 

o q 

Passpasschase that area. The survey was commenced on August 2, 1880. ° 

p h 

August 2 was also the date on which Inspector T. P. Wadsworth 0 ^ 

elected to pay the Passpasschase Band their annuity monies for 1880. 

The Saskatchewan Herald described what happened: 

On the 2nd of August Mr. Wadsworth went across the river to 
the Two Hills, three miles distant, to pay Papastayo's Band, 
but that chief wished it, distinctly understood that he would 
not take any money that day—that he wanted something to eat, 
and then wanted to talk. . . . Well, he talked, and talked 
big; he wanted a great many things that the agent could not 
promise him. Next day he was ready to talk again, but the 
agent wanted to pay them their money; and on this issue they 
split. Papastayo could not get what he wanted, so he would 
not take any money. The agent then recrossed the river to 
pay the bands on this side, while the chief made many threats 
as to what he would do that night. However, before Mr. Wads¬ 
worth had finished paying them, [the bands north of the river,] 
Papastayo hauled in his horns and asked Mr. Wadsworth to con¬ 
sider what he had said on the previous occasion as nothing more 
than the wind that passes by, never to return again. 


^Actually there had been 249. D.I.N.A. Annuity Paysheets for 
1879 - Passpasschase Band. This population would have entitled the 
Passpasschase Band to a reserve of 49.8 square miles. 

S3 George A. Simpson to the Superintendent General of Indian 
Affairs, December 1, 1880, in Canada, S essi o nal Papers for 1880-81 
Vol. XIV (No. 14), pp. 107-111. 

8 ^Wadsworth was the Department of Indian Affairs' Inspector of 
Indian Farms and Agencies for the North West Territories. Appointed 
in 1879, he was generally at odds with Indian Commissioner Dewdney, and 
later, Hayter Reed, but was in frequent close contact with Lawrence 
Vankoughnet, the Deputy Superintendent General of Indian Affairs, who 
was also generally hostile to Dew T dney. 

q r 

-''‘Edmonton, Jl Sask at chewan Herald , September 13, 1880, p.3. 








47 


The Chief's wind did return, however, as soon as he discovered 
the full extent of Mr. Wadsworth's revenge. When the Inspector re¬ 
crossed the North Saskatchewan, he did not, in fact, commence to pay 
other bands. Rather he began paying one newly created band, henceforth 
to be known as "Edmonton Stragglers." This new grouping included the 
followers of Tommy La Potac and of Mahminawatow, who were later to form 
Enoch's Band. It also included the Indian wives and children of white 
or Metis residents of Fort Edmonton. More significantly, the stragglers 
were joined by eighty-four members of the Passpasschase Band, who had 
feared that their Chief's actions might deprive them of their annuities. 
Thus, in spite of a large number who had joined Passpasschase since the 
1879 payments, his band's population plummetted from 249 to 188. 86 
Doubtless with a certain satisfaction, Mr. Wadsworth informed Surveyor 
Simpson that, as the Passpasschase Band's population had declined a 
great deal, no more than forty square miles should be allocated to it 
as a reserve. 87 As for the stragglers, Wadsworth declared that since 
they were merely Indians who loitered about Edmonton, they could not 
expect any land to be set aside for their benefit. 88 

88 D.I.N.A. Annuity Paysheets for 1879 - Passpasschase Band, 
Annuity Paysheets for 1880 - Edmonton Stragglers, and Annuity Pay¬ 
sheets for 1880 - Passpasschase Band. Sixty-six persons appear on the 
Passpasschase Band paysheets for 1880 who cannot be identified as having 
been with the band at earlier payments, but 49 persons, who had been 
paid in 1879, did not appear on either the Passpasschase or Edmonton 
Stragglers paysheets for 1880. Of the 34 former Passpasschase persons 
paid with the Edmonton Stragglers in 1880, 28 were orphans at the Roman 
Catholic Mission at St. Albert. Evidently the band with whom these 
were paid was entirely at Wadsworth's discretion. 

87 G. A. Simpson ro the Superintendent General, December i, 1880, 
in Canada, S essional Papers for 1880-81 , Voi. XIV (Mo. 14), pp. 108-109. 

88 T. P. Wadsworth [to the Indian Commissioner], September 30, 












No trouble occurred until Mr. Simpson's party began to run the 


south and final boundary line of the Passpasschase Reserve. Realizing 
that he was not receiving the forty-eight square miles originally pro¬ 
mised him, the Chief ordered the surveyors to stop. When they did not, 
he removed their instruments, and declared that he would not allow them 
to continue. 89 Mr. Wadsworth suspended Passpasschase from his chief¬ 
tainship, but Commissioner Dewdney soon arrived to reinstate him. 90 
But Dewdney would not support the band's claim to eight additional 

square miles, and told the Indians that their reserve would not be 

9 1 

completed that year, if ever. 1 

The citizens of Edmonton were delighted. Frank Oliver reported 
that if Chief Passpasschase could not get what he wanted, he would not 
take anything at all. 

Now, this just suits the people around here, and especially 
those settlers on the south side of the river, to whom, with 
the reserve so close behind them, it would have been a hard 
hit. They have now some hopes that upon inquiries being 
made they [the Indians] will not have it quite so much their 
own way and might even be sent to the country they originally 
came from. 9 ^ 


1S80, extract in Canada, Sessional Papers for 1880-81 Vol. XIV (No. 14) 
pp. 87-88. And D.I.N.A., Annuity Paysheets for 1880 and for 1881 - 
Edmonton Stragglers. 

89 G. A. Simpson to the Superintendent General, December 1, 1880 
in Canada, Sessional Papers for 1880-81 , Vol. XIV (No. 14}, pp. 108-109 
"Edmonton," Saskatchewan Herald , September 13, 1880, p. 3; "Edmonton 
ibid., September 27, 1880, p. 2. 

""Edmonton,” Saskatchewan Herald , September 27, 1880, p. 2. 

91 G. A. Simpson to the Superintendent General, December 1, 1880 
in Canada, Sessional Papers for 1880-81 , Vol. XIV (No. 14), pp. 108-109 

92 "Edmonton," Saskatchewan Herald , September 27, 1380, p. 2. 













49 


Surveyor George Simpson quite agreed with this assessment. 

I think they [Passpasschase's followers] fear the band 
will dwindle down to so few that it will be broken up. 

This would probably be the best thing that could happen, as 
it is principally composed of stragglers, who are both impu¬ 
dent and lazy, and their residence in a prosperous settle¬ 
ment would be detrimental to its advancement. 93 

Not everyone was so sure that Mr. Wadsworth had acted wisely, 
however. Colonel Stewart, recently deposed as Indian Agent, declared 
that it was not fair to deprive the stragglers of lands as promised by 
the Treaty, nor would it be wise to create a separate reserve for them 
which would only increase the anger of non-Indians. He declared that 
the Inspector's clever revenge would cause more trouble than had been 
imagined. 91 * Stewart's successor, William Anderson, also was concerned 
that the "Stragglers" would not be allotted any reserve land. 

This is manifestly unjust, and will in the near future 
give much trouble, as it is beginning to be understood. 

I am pleased to say that the Indians at present have 
reliance on the good faith of the Government, and I should 
regret to see it lost. 95 

The question of what rights to grant the Edmonton Stragglers was not 
finally settled until 1885, when the great majority of them took Half 
Breed Scrip and forsook their Indian status. 


93 G. A. Simpson to the Superintendent General, December 1, 1880, 
in Canada, Sessional Papers for 1880-81 , Vol. XIV (No. 14), p. 109. 

94 Jas. G. Stewart to the Superintendent General, September 7, 
1880, P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3695, File 14,875. 

95 W. Anderson, report to the Superintendent General of Indian 
Affairs, December 13, 1881, in Canada, Sessional Papers for 1882 , 

Vol. XV (No. 6), p. 85. ~ . 







Seeing that the Passpasschase Band had sunk a good deal in the 
estimation of government officials, the people of Edmonton made several 
attempts to have the reserve moved to a distant location. The first 
such move occurred early in 1881. At a crowded meeting of Edmonton 
and district settlers held on January 13, 1881, at the Edmonton Hotel, 
the question of the Indian reserve on the south side of the river was 
discussed at some length. The consensus was that the Passpasschase 
Band should be removed to a location twenty miles back from the river 
on the west side of Hay Lakes, and a petition was forwarded to Prime 
Minister Sir John A. Macdonald to that effect citing the arrogance of 
Chief Passpasschase in terminating Simpson's survey, the "alien" 
nature of the Indians of the band, the hardship that would be imposed 
upon settlers living south of the river, and the inadvisability of 
allowing a reserve so close to a "great central point" such as 

q r q y 

Edmonton. D Frank Oliver's newly established Bulletin ^ enthusiastic¬ 
ally promoted the cause of the settlers in its news columns and edit¬ 
orials. On the Monday following the meeting the newspaper published 
a major editorial on the subject of "Indian Reserves" which recapitu¬ 
lated the settlers' case and ended with a revealing exhortation: 

Now is the time for the Government to declare the 
reserve open and show whether this country is to be run 
in the interests of the settlers or the Indians.^® 


96 "Mass Meeting," Bulletin , January 17, 1881, p. 1; 

?. H. Belcher and John A. McDougall to Sir John A. Macdonald, n.d., 
[January 13, 1881] in P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3737, 

File 27596. 

q n 

The first issue was published on December 6, 1880. 

"N 

"Indian Reserves," Edmonton Bulletin , January 17, 1881, p. 2. 


98 













51 


The Federal Government, however, was not moved by this agi¬ 
tation. After consulting with Commissioner Dewdney, Lawrence Vankough- 
net, the Deputy Superintendent General of Indian Affairs, replied to 
the petitioners that it would be impossible to force the Passpasschase 
Indians to take their reserve elsewhere without breaking faith with 
them. The most he could promise the Edmontonians was that the surveyor 
would take care, when completing the reserve, to lay it out in such a 
manner as to interfere as little as possible with the settlers' claims 
and timber lands." 

This was not quite the end of the matter. The Bulletin , with 
the support of many local settlers, continued to campaign fitfully 
against the Indian reserve. On some occasions it attempted to be 
reasonable: 

The Indians’ side of the story is that at Ft. Pitt, where 
the bargain was made with these Indians, Lieut. Governor 
Morris promised that they should be allowed to choose their 
reserves where they pleased, so long as they were not on 
land previously settled, and that a certain amount of land 
should be allowed for each family. They accordingly chose 
this place and they refused to allow the surveyor to finish 
his work because they understood that he was not giving them 
the amount to which the treaty entitled them. This is all 
true enough and they are of course legally entitled to the 
land. But, in making this bargain with them Governor Morris, 
who had never seen and had no idea of the country, made a 
great mistake, as every one must acknowledge, and the sooner 
the mistake is rectified the better. These people if 
approached in a proper manner and at a proper time could be 
induced for a very reasonable consideration to take the 
reserve elsewhere. . . . 100 


"l. Vankoughnet to E. Dewdney, March 19, 1881; E. T. Gait to 
the Superintendent General, May 11, 1881; L. Vankoughnet to P. H. 
Belcher and John A. McDougall, May 27, 1881; all in P.A.C., Indian 
Affairs Records, Voi. 3737, File 27596. 

10 0"That Reserve,' 5 Edmonton Bulletin, September 30, 1882, p, 2. 






■f! 






52 


At other times, it was insulting and indignant: 

. . . when a treaty was made with any band of Indians in 
the Saskatchewan many of the lower class of half-breeds 
in the vicinity, for the sake of the treaty money, caused 
themselves to be enrolled as Indians, . . . These people, 
although they may live with the Indians and take the treaty 
money, and, although they are not whites, have not the same 
nature as the true Indian, and join the bands not because 
they do not know and cannot do any better, but because they 
think they can live easier in that way than by working 
honestly for their livings as they had always been obliged 
to do before. To give these men treaty money is simply 
putting a premium on laziness. They have, to a great extent, 
the grasping nature of a white man coupled with the indolence 
of the Indian, and these two qualities combined generally 
produce, if not a thief at least a dishonest man. To allow 
such men to join the bands gives them a chance to exercise 
an influence over the real Indians which must of necessity 
be anything but good. Instead of their superior intelli¬ 
gence being used to instruct and improve the Indians—*to 
make them more industrious and independent—it is used to 
make them more dependent on the Government and more generally 
useless. These men are the lawyers of the bands and put, 
the rest up to new dodges by which to get greater concessions 
from the Government. They joined the bands to get out of 
working and seem determined that neither they nor any of 
the others shall work if they can help it. It is uphill work 
to instruct, improve and civilize pure Indians, who have 
neither education nor religion, but it is far harder to deal 
with men who have both to a limited extent, but do not wish 
to exercise either. 

Of this class, principally, are the Edmonton [Passpass- 
chase] and Lac Ste. Anne [Michel] bands of alleged Crees. 

Most members of the Edmonton band speak English and French 
as well as Cree and previous to the treaty considered them¬ 
selves half-breeds and worked for their living like other 
people, but when the treaty was made and they saw an oppor¬ 
tunity of getting a nice grant of valuable land and an annuity 
of $5 apiece, they took the chance and since then have been 
a nuisance to both the Government officials and settlers in 
the neighborhood. . . . Besides all this they have drawn 
Government rations on all occasions when they could get them. 

The Lac Ste. Anne band, also mostly half-breeds, before 
the treaty were doing pretty well, cultivating considerable 
patches of land near the lake and working when they could 
get an opportunity, but since then they have quit farming 
and working and gone into the business of starving and 
dunning the Government for grub, occasionally making threats 
of violence, one of which they carried out lately by shooting 
the farm instructor's cow. 

It is high time this sort of work was put an end to. It 





53 


is foolish to try to civilize a man who makes himself a 
savage in order to receive the benefit of this attempt at 
civilization. The fact of his doing so is proof positive 
that his intelligence is quite up to the standard, but 
that his moral nature is too far down to ever be reached 
by any argument short of main force. Let these people 
understand that there is nothing to be gained by being 
Indians and they will soon cease to claim to be such. 

Instead of allowing them all they ask, so that they will 
not stir up ill feeling among the real Indians, as has 
been the practice heretofore, a sharp distinction should 
be drawn between those who don't know how to work and 
can't and those who do know how but won't and when they 
proceed to violence, as in this cow-shooting case, they 
should be made to feel, to its full extent, the heavy 
hand of the law, and when their wishes are contrary to 
the public benefit, as in the case of the Edmonton 
reserve, there is no reason why their rights as Indians 
—-which they are not—should not be overridden by the 
rights of other half-breeds or whites. 101 

The Bulletin 's words were not without effect. Shortly after 
the last-quoted editorial appeared, threats to squat on the "supposed 
Indian reserve" were freely indulged in by settlers on the South Bank 
of the North Saskatchewan. 102 In January of 1883, a second petition 
against the reserve was entrusted to Rev. Father Leduc, to carry to 
the authorities in Ottawa. This time, the representation was 
completely ignored. 103 

In response to this agitation, and similar instances across the 
North West, the Commissioner of the North West Mounted Police found it 
advisable, in July of 1883, to issue a general order calling upon the 


101 "Indians?," Edmonton Bulletin , April 15, 1882, p. 2 . 

102 "South Side," Edmonton Bulletin , April 22, 1882, p. 2. 

103 See "Public Meeting," Edmonton Bulletin , January 27, 1883, 
p. 3 and "Public Meeting," ibid ., July 28, 1883, p. 4. 















54 


members of his force to render every possible assistance to the offi¬ 
cials of the Department of Indian Affairs, whenever the latter might 
require aid in preventing squatting by non-Indians upon reserves. 104 
This did not put an end to all threats of trespass, however. Later 
that year the members of Passpasschase's Band began to complain that 
the Crown Timber Agent for Edmonton was issuing permits to local sett¬ 
lers allowing them to cut timber on the Indian reserve. 105 The Timber 
Agent eventually relented, but only after a lengthy appeal to the 
Deputy Minister of the Interior, reciting all of the familiar arguments 
against the reserve, and a great deal of misinformation besides. 106 

While there was nothing in the stand maintained by the offi¬ 
cials of the Department of Indian Affairs which encouraged the Edmon¬ 
tonians, 107 there were other straws in the wind which did provide some 


104 Fred White, Comptroller of the N.W.M.P., to Lt.Col. Irvine, 
N.W.M.P., July 4, 1883, P.A.C., Records of the North West Mounted 
Police (R.G. 18), Vol. 1007, File 362. 

105 William Anderson to Thomas Anderson, November 27, 1883, 
P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3728, File 25,705. 

106 Thomas Anderson to the Deputy Minister of Dominion Lands 
[sic], December 6, 1883;Thomas Anderson to William Anderson, March 11, 
1884;both in P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3728, File 25,705. 
Thomas Anderson claimed that almost all of Passpasschase's people had 
"returned" to their places on other reserves; that orphans from the 
mission were included in the population; and that only six families 
remained on the reserve site. All of this was false. 

107 See, for example, E. Dewdney to the Superintendent General, 
April 28, 1884, P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3728, File 
25,705. 







55 


grounds for hope that the Indian reserve might be removed to a more 

distant location. In the summer of 1882, the land composing the 

reserve was subdivided into quarter sections. This was not done when 

i n r 

Dominion Land surveyors encountered other Indian reserves. In 

addition, there appeared to be a faction within the band that was 
willing, or even eager, to move. Chief Passpasschase's notorious 
brother Tahkoots, was apparently intriguing to split up the band and 
take a fresh reserve. Commissioner Dewdney investigated, only to 

discover that while many of Passpasschase's followers were eager to 


108 "South Side Reserve," Edmonton Bulletin , August 2, 1884, 
p..2; John C. Nelson to the Superintendent General, October 20, 1890, 
Canada, Sessional Papers for 1891 , Vol. XXIV (No. 18), pt. 1, pp. 146- 
148; Thomas Anderson to the Deputy Minister of the Interior, 

December 6, 1883, P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3728, File 
25,705. This subdivision survey could be the source of a good many 
legal complications. Under the terms of the Dominion Lands Act in 
force in 1882, certain portions of any subdivided townships auto¬ 
matically became reserved as school lands upon the completion of the 
survey. Other lands became vested in the Hudson's Bay Company as soon 
as an official notice of the completion of survey was forwarded to the 
Land Commissioner of the Hudson's Bay Company. In the case of the 
Passpasschase Reserve, official notices were sent, and the Company 
later exchanged their quarter sections for land elsewhere. See P.A.C., 
Indian Affairs Records, Vols. 3837 and 3838, File 68,970 passim . The 
survey of the Indian reserve was not completed until 1884. The land 
was not confirmed as an Indian reserve by Order in Council until May 
1889, six months after the Indians surrendered it, and the land was 
not "withdrawn from the operation of the Dominion Lands Act," by 
Order in Council, until 1893, four years after the surrender process 
had been completed. Canada, Privy Council, Orders in Council, May 17, 
1889 and June 12, 1893, P.A.C., Privy Council Records, Series 1, 

Vol. 419, P.C. 1151/1889, and Vol. 560, P.C. 164/1893 respectively. 

i09 Robert Sinclair to E. Dewdney, August 7, 1834, P.A.C., 

Indian Affairs Records, Vcl. 4491 (Letterbook), p. 645. The file 
containing this letter has been lost. 













obtain a new reserve in the Beaver Hills, there was no willingness 
whatsoever to surrender a portion of their land at the Two Hills in 
return. 110 

The only effect of the series of trespasses instigated by the 
Crown Timber Agent, and the intrigues of Headman Tahkoots seems to have 
been the long delayed completion of the Passpasschase Reserve survey 
John C. Nelson, the Department of Indian Affairs' Chief Surveyor for 
the North West, completed the south boundary in August of 1884. The 
band had to be satisfied with forty square miles, rather than the 
forty-eight it had been promised four years earlier. On the other 
hand, the Department did not keep its promise to the Edmonton settlers 
that the reserve boundaries would be altered in such a manner as to 
minimize the hay and timber lands received by the Indians. Nelson 
merely completed Simpson's lines. By all accounts, the Passpass¬ 

chase Reserve contained some of the finest land in the district, well 
supplied with timber and hay. It was traversed by the Calgary and Hay 
Lake Trails, and any railroad approaching Edmonton from the south 
would, of necessity, be constructed through it. 1 ^ 

' 10 Edgar Dewdney to the Superintendent General, November 10, 
1884, P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3700, File 16,692 vol. 1. 

' tll L. Vankoughnet to E. Dewdney, May 21, 1884, P.A.C., Indian 
Affairs RecordsVol. 3728, File 25,705. 

112 

John C. Nelson to the Indian Commissioner, December 31, 

1884, P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol.. 3703, File 17,723. 

113 Ibid .; "Indian Reserves," The Bulletin , January 17, 1881, 
p. 2; "Indian Reserves," Edmonton Bulletin , April 8, 1882, p„ 2. 













57 


The completion of the survey appeared to smother the agitation 
by Edmonton settlers against the Indian reserve, but there was not an 
end to the difficulties with the people for whom the land was intended. 
The most serious issue for the Indians and the government, and the one 
most productive of disputes, was the vexing question of food. 

Treaty Six had reached an apex of obscure and equivocal lang¬ 
uage in its guarantee 

. . . that in the event hereafter of the Indians comprised 
within this treaty being overtaken by any pestilence, or 
by a general famine, the Queen, on being satisfied and 
certified thereof by her Indian Agent or Agents, will grant 
to the Indians assistance - of such character and to such 
extent as her Chief Superintendent of Indian Affairs shall 
deem necessary and sufficient to relieve the Indians from 
the calamity that shall have befallen them. 114 

The Edmonton Bulletin , never considered the Indian's staunchest 

defender, clearly perceived the core of the difficulty posed by this 

clause: 

The literal reading of this is that the commissioner need 
not give an ounce of provisions in any case if he does not 
feel so disposed, while the Indians take it to mean that 
whenever they are in want their wants shall be relieved. 

The Indians consider that whatever provisions they receive 
under this clause they receive as a treaty right, while 
the agents consider that it is given as a favor and there 
are no obligations to give any at all, hence the continual 
demands and refusals and general clashing. If the clause 
only means what the agents consider it does, it means 
simply nothing, and there was no reason for its insertion 
unless as a blind, while on the other hand the interpre¬ 
tation put upon it by the Indians is only reasonable . . . 

It was only natural that when they were in a position to 
make their own terras they should stipulate that the govern¬ 
ment through which they might be deprived of one means of 
subsistence should supply them with another. 115 


114 Morris, Treaties , p. 354. 

x 15"The Indians," Edmonton Bulletin , August 4, 1383, p. 2. 

















58 


While the Passpasschase Indians were largely House People, and 
originally Woods Cree, they had hunted buffalo for years with the St. 
Albert Metis, and had been joined by many Plains Indians. 118 Thus, 
though the disappearance of the buffalo did not have such a devastating 
effect on this band as on others, it too suffered some hardships as a 
result. Furthermore, Chief Passpasschase seems to have often acted in 
concert with Plains Cree chiefs whose people had been all but totally 
dependent upon the buffalo for survival. 

That animal was not to be found in any numbers north of the 
Cypress Hills, after 1879. 117 A general famine, such as had not pre¬ 
viously been seen, descended upon the prairies. Colonel Stewart had 
been severely reprimanded for his extravagance in attempting to meet 
this crisis. His successor, William Anderson, was determined to avoid 
any such criticism. Even Frank Oliver's newspaper, quick as it was to 
to point out Indians who had gone into the "business of starving," was 
bitter in its condemnation of the hard-hearted Indian Agent, 118 The 
same general meeting which called for the removal of the Passpasschase 


118 William A. Fraser, "Plains Cree, Assiniboine and Saulteaux 
(Plains) Bands 1874-84," (1963) - unpublished paper in the possession 
of the Glenbow-Alberta Institute, Calgary. 

11/ "Edmonton," Saskatchewan Herald , July 28, 1879, p. 3. 
Exhaustive and exhausting detail on the history of the North American 
bison can be found in Frank Gilbert Roe, The North American Buffalo : 

A Critical Study of the Speci e s in its Wild State , (Toronto: Univer¬ 
sity of Toronto Press, 1951). 

118 There are many examples, but see especially, "The Indian 
Scare," and "Latest From Hay Lakes," T he Bulletin , January 10, 1881, 
pp. 2 and 1 respectively? "Local," ibid., January 24, 1881, p, 3; 
"Local," ibid ., January 31, 1881, pp. 3 and 4; and "The Indians," 
Edmonton Bulletin , August 4, 1883, p. 2. 


















59 


Reserve in January of 1881, also caused a telegram to be sent to Ottawa 
drawing attention to the misery and wretchedness of the Indians about 
Edmonton and petitioning for an enquiry into the management of Indian 
Affairs in the district. The Bulletin reported: 

Settlers in the out-lying districts are becoming alarmed 
for the safety of their families and stock—for they know 
that no one can blame the Indians if they resort to force to 

obtain food. The same number of white men if placed in their 

119 

position would have had it long ago. 

It is difficult to know whether this petition and others like it had 
any effect. Department of Indian Affairs officials, caught between the 
very real needs of the Indians and the political necessity of main¬ 
taining government expenditures in the North West at a level that would 
be tolerated by Central Canada, y anxious that temporary emergency 
relief not evolve into a permanent welfare system, 121 and hindered by 
the primitive transportation and communication systems of the North 
West, were easy prey for critics on all sides. On one occasion com¬ 
plaints were made to Commissioner Dewdney that settlers were compelled 
to feed and clothe starving Indians. He replied: 

The fact of the Indians being fed and clothed by white 
settlers is a reason why many Indians desire to leave 
their reserves. So long as settlers feed Indians off 
the reserves, just so long must they expect them to 
loiter around the settlement. Work is always to be 
found on the reserves. 122 


H^Mass Meeting," The Bulletin , January 17, 1881, p. I. 

^ 20 Canada, Debates of the House of Commons , Session 1882, 
26 April, 1882, p. 1186. 

121 Ibid., Session 1880, 3 May, 1880, p. 1942. 

122,, Local," Edmonton Bulletin , November 3, 1883, p. 1. 
















60 


To which the Edmonton Bulleti n dryly retorted: 

The only fault to be found with this way of putting the 
case is that although work may be always found on the 
reserves food is not, and it is food, not work, that 
keeps an Indian alive. An Indian is such a strange 

TOO 

creature . 10 

While it cannot be said that the relations between the Edmonton 
Indians and their Agent improved greatly after the severe winter of 
1880-1881, it was not until 1883 that tensions reached their highest 
point. Midway through another difficult winter. Chiefs Passpasschase, 
Bobtail, Samson, and Ermineskin, together with others from Tommy La 
Potac's (Enoch's) and Ironhead's (Paul's) Bands, approached Rev. Father 
Scollen to write a letter for them to the Minister of the Interior, 

Sir John A. Macdonald, which was to be published in the Edmonton 
Bulletin . Scollen was a defiant, and often insulting man who seemed to 
enjoy being the centre of controversy. 1 * 14 The epistle was somewhat too 
florid to appear authentic, but the sentiments expressed were genuine 
enough. The Indians expressed their fear that the government was 
attempting to exterminate them slowly by starvation, and reminded those 
in authority that they would rather die quickly by violence than slowly 
from lack of food. They drew attention to the much better-fed Black- 
feet Indians to the south of them, who were always well-armed and ready 
to threaten violence if not properly treated, and intimated that the 

123 ibid. 

124 See P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3673, File 10,986- 












61 


12 5 

Crees would soon follow this example. 

On the basis of this letter, and other reports that Father 
Scollen was stirring up the Indians, Agent Anderson took his complaints 
to the North West Mounted Police. Captain Gagnon, in charge of the 
detachment at Fort Saskatchewan, expressed a willingness to arrest the 
priest at once, but after some deliberation it was concluded that an 
appeal should first be made to Bishop Grandin. Scollen, for his part, 
heatedly denied all insinuations that he had incited the Indians, insis¬ 
ted that he had considerably understated the violent statements of the 
Indians who had dictated the letter, and claimed that he had only agreed 
to write it for them when they threatened to loot the government stores 
if he refused. 126 

If any proof were needed that the Indians did not require white 
agitators to make serious complaints concerning the quantity of food 
they were receiving, it was provided within a very few months. In July 
of 1883, the Indians from near Bear's Hills (now Hobbema), unable to 
support themselves by hunting, and finding their farm instructor, 

Samuel Lucas, without any provisions to sustain them, determined to 
pay Indian Agent Anderson a visit at Edmonton. En route they v/ere 
joined by Chief Passpasschase and several members of his band, who were 
in a similar condition. A deputation of four Indians was then selected 

“ 2o Chief Bobtail, Chief Samson, Chief Ermineskin, Chief Wood¬ 
pecker, Maminonatan [should be Mahminawataw], Agowastin, Siwiyaviges, 
Ironhead, William, to the Minister of the Interior, January 7, 1883; 
in Sdmontor. Bulle tin, February 3, 1883, p. 3. Copy also in P.A.C., 
Indian Affairs Records, Vcl. 3673, File 10,986. 

126 P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3673, File 10,986. 










62 


to confront the Indian Agent and demand food for the bands. Anderson 
coolly replied that he had no provisions (which was true); that even if 
he had some he would not give them any; that they knew better than to 
expect to be fed away from their reserves; and that they should return 
home where the farm instructor would supply their wants. Knowing full 

well that there was no food for them on their reserves, the whole body 

of Indians next confronted the Agent. Anderson repeated his earlier 
position. A great commotion ensued. The infuriated Indians wrenched 
William Anderson out of his chair, and replaced him with the unwilling 
Samuel Lucas, in order to signify their desire for a change of Agents. 
The farm instructor tried to explain that their hands were tied by 
higher officials, but the Indians had turned again on Anderson, demand¬ 
ing food. The Agent insisted he had none, but his visitors declared 

that there was. plenty of food at the Hudson's Bay Company’s store, and 

demanded that Anderson purchase some on his own credit. Anderson 
refused and the threats grew more ugly. Finally an Indian by the name 
of Grasshopper grabbed the Agent by the arm and forcibly dragged him 
from the Agency building into the Hudson's Bay Company’s fort. There 
an arrangement was eventually made to have the company advance a certain 
amount of provisions to the Indians on the security of the coming 
autumn's annuity payments. 12 7 

The next day, Anderson sent a frantic message to Captain Gagnon 
at Fort Saskatchewan asking him to hasten to Edmonton with all his men. 

' "Indians," Edmonton Bulletin , July 2S, 1883, p. 4 and "The 
," ibid ., August 4, 1883, p. 2. 


Indians 













63 


He declared that "the Indians took forcible steps to coerce me in my 
duty as Indian Agent and were utterly beyond control." He also opined 
that "it will probably be necessary to swear in forty or fifty men and 

I O O 

shew the Indians that they are not the masters of the situation." 

Gagnon rushed into Edmonton with his entire contingent of eight, 
only to find that the Indians had departed and were camped across the 
river. The police officer summoned them back, and they returned to a 
meeting the following morning, "in full war paint and equipment 28 
After an introductory dance involving a great deal of gun firing and 
shouting, the debate began. Passpasschase acted as spokesman for the 
Indians, giving his version of the events of two days previous and 
demanding that Anderson be replaced. He was followed by many others 
who reiterated what he had said. The Agent for his part insisted that 
he had not wished to imply that he would not feed the Indians, but 
merely that he would not feed them away from their reserves. Eventually 
Captain Gagnon called a halt to the long discussion. He treated the 
Indians to another issue of provisions from Police stores before sending 
them away, and advised them that they had gone about attempting to 
change their Agent in the wrong manner. He declared that they should 
have made their complaints known to the Indian Commissioner, and trusted 
him to set matters right. 

128 W. Anderson to Capt. Gagnon, July 25, 1883, P.A.C., North 
West Mounted Police Records, Vol. 1008, File 447. 

i28 Capt. Gagnon to the Commissioner, N.W.M.P., August 1, 1883, 
P.A.C., North West Mounted Police Records, Vol. 1G08, File 447. 

x 88 Ibid ,, and "Indians," Edmonton Bulletin, August 4, 1883, 


p. 2. 








6 


The Indians left for their reserves apparently satisfied, but 
several threw out hints that they would not be so compromising in the 
future, and a rumour soon reached Gagnon that he had better not inter¬ 
fere on the next occasion on which the Indians confronted their Agent, 
unless he wished to fight them in earnest. 131 The citizens of Edmonton 
had been very frightened, and the Bulletin no doubt reflected their 
beliefs when it declared: 

Had it not been a case in which one party was scared and 
the other daren't the circus would have opened right 
there. In future a very little more desperation on the 
one hand or confidence on the other and Canada will have 
a first-class Indian war upon her hands. 132 

Edgar Dewdney publicly blamed the incident on white agitators, 133 and 
privately declared that the Edmontonians were greatly exaggerating the 
possibility of an Indian outbreak in order to stimulate a great expend¬ 
iture of public money in the town. 134 In spite of such sentiments the 
Edmonton ruckus was the first of a series of such confrontations invol¬ 
ving food, (including the much more serious Crooked Lakes incident in 
January and February of 1884, and the confrontation on Poundmaker's 
Reserve in the summer of that same year), which eventually forced the 
government to provide more liberal issues of rations to hungry bands. 135 

131 Ibid. 

132 "The Indians," Edmonton Bulletin , August 4, 1883, p. 2. 

133 E. Dewdney to the Superintendent General of Indian Affairs, 
October 2, 1383, Canada, Sessional Papers for 1884 , Vol. XVII (No. 4), 
pt. 1, p. 101. 

lo4 E. Dewdney to John Pope, October 10, 1883, P.A.C., Macdonald 
Papers, Vol. 211, No. 89941. 

i ° s 

For more information on the Crooked Lakes incident, see 










In the wake of this incident, relations between the Department 
of Indian Affairs officials and the Passpasschase Band did begin to 
improve. The more friendly attitudes were formed at an important time, 
for, to the east of Edmonton, events were building towards the North 
West Rebellion. Tahkoots, in particular, came to enjoy close relations 
with the officials of the Edmonton Indian Agency. 

There was a great deal of unrest in the North West in 1884. On 
the South Branch of the Saskatchewan, near Batoche, the Metis were agi¬ 
tating for a second issue of half-breed scrip and other concessions. 

As for the Indians, there, were numerous signs that some new movement 
was at work, but no white man knew either its objectives or the means 
that might be in contemplation for their achievement. In the Treaty 
Four area of what is now Southern Saskatchewan, Chief Piapot, still not 
finally settled upon a reserve, unsuccessfully attempted to hold a 
grand council of Indians to discuss promises which had allegedly been 
omitted from the text of their Treaty.Further north, in the Treaty 
Six district, Chief Big Bear at Fort Pitt, also not yet settled at a 
specific location, had successfully resisted an attempt to starve his 
band into choosing a reserve site, i3/ and was working in concert with 


Kenneth J. Tyler, "A History of the Cowessess Band: 1874-1911," unpub¬ 
lished paper prepared for the Federation of Saskatchewan Indians, 

Treaty Rights Research Division, (1975), pp. 26-33. A copy of this 
paper is held by the Federation in its Treaty Rights Research office in 
Regina, Saskatchewan, Information on the confrontation on Poundmaker's 
Reserve can be found in P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3576, File 
309A and 309B. See also, "Local," Edmonton Bu l letin , May 3, 1884, p. 1 
re more liberal rations. 

13o T yi er , "a History of the Cowessess Band," pp. 33-34. 

137 P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Voi, 3576, File 
309B and "Local,’’ Edmonton Bulletin, January 19, .1384, p, 1 


309A and 












66 


Chief Little Pine of Battleford and others to prepare some sort of con¬ 
frontation with government officials that would alter the prevailing 
Indian policy. 13 ® While government officials attempted to keep in¬ 
formed through a variety of sources, one very interesting clue as to 
the extent and intentions of this movement came through Headman Tah- 
koots of Passpasschase's Band. 

On June 5, 1884, the Pound, a member of Passpasschase's 
Band, 139 commenced to hold a thirst dance on his reserve, in thanks¬ 
giving for the recovery from serious illness of his eldest daughter, or 
so the Bulletin reported. 140 The ceremony appears to have been one of 
the most popular events of the season, for Indians travelled from the 
vicinity of Egg Lake (now Whitford Lake, near Andrew, Alberta), Saddle 
Lake, Bear's Hills, and even more distant points to attend. While the 
dance was supposed to be one of celebration, Chief Passpasschase did 
not appear to enjoy himself greatly. In fact, he displayed consider¬ 
able nervousness. He was too quick to assure the Indian Agent that the 
band was not squandering its rations in dancing, rather than working, 
and even asserted that the members of his band were not participating 
in the ceremony, but merely allowing it to be held on their reserve. 
(This was clearly not the case, as the dance had been called by a 

13 ®See John L. Tobias, "Interim Report on the Little Pine/ 

Lucky Man Band," unpublished paper prepared for the Federation of 
Saskatchewan Indians, Treaty Rights Research Division, (1374). A copy 
of this paper is held by the Federation in its Treaty Rights Research 
office in Regina, Saskatchewan. Also W. B. Fraser, "Big Bear, Indian 
Patriot," in Donald Swainson (ed.), Hi storical Es s ays on the Prairie 
Provinces , The Carleton Library, (Toronto/Montreal: 1970), pp. 71-88. 

139 D.I.N.A., Annuity Paysheets for 1884 - Passpasschase Band. 

i2+ 0"The Thirst Dance," Edmonton Bulletin, June 14, 1884, p. 3. 













67 


member of the Passpasschase Band, and Tahkoots had been featured as 
one of two dancers around the centre pole just hours before. 11+1 ) The 
Chief also wished it noticed that he had maintained perfect order, and 
promised that no appeals for provisions would be made to the Agent on 
account of the dance. 11+2 

The cause of the nervousness was no doubt the presence of a 
group of thirteen young men from Big Bear's Band led by one Papastis. 

As soon as the speeches by the Chiefs had concluded, this group 
commenced what the Bulletin declared to be a "war dance." The news¬ 
paper described the visitors as: 

. . . clad for the most part in nature's vestments, 
fantastically ornamented with paint and feathers, 

[they] marched to the tent to the music of drums, 
sleigh bells, and firearms. They formed a circle, 
around the pole and began a war dance, which resembles 
the famed Red river jig, except for the noise. A more 
perfect representation of pandemonium cannot be ima¬ 
gined; the leader going around shooting off his rifle 
and the rest dropping down one by one at each shot, 
representing the men he had killed in battle. Each of 
the twelve apostles told of his valiant deeds, amid 
loud cries of approval from the onlookers. 1 * 43 

The dance was not unusual, but there was an uneasy feeling 
about that Papastis and his companions had not travelled so far merely 
to celebrate the recovery of the Pound's daughter, nor to entertain the 
gathered crowds. The first indication as to the real object of the 


141 Ibid. In the dance around the centre pole, folds of skin on 
the dancer's chest were pierced with wooden awls, and strips of hide 
were attached to these and then fastened to the top of a pole. The 
celebrant then danced around the pole, leaning back at intervals until 
he had pulled himself loose. 

i 42 ibid. 

14 3 Ibid. 








visit came through the Indian Agency clerk, Mr. John A. Mitchell. 
After a conversation with Tahkoots on the second day of the dance, 
Mitchell reported that Big Bear wished to have a number of Indians go 
up to Ottawa and settle their grievances there. Tahkoots had also 
heard that Big Bear was working in concert with Piapot and a certain 
unnamed Assiniboine chief.* 44 

On June 9, the day after the dance had terminated, Tahkoots 

sent William Anderson a very curious and somewhat garbled letter. No 

doubt transcribed by a semi-literate interpreter, it indicated that 

Papastis had brought a message that asked for more than companionship 

on a journey to Ottawa. Tahkoots' letter to the Agent, apparently 

containing the reply to Big Bear at its end, is reproduced below. 

Sir I wish to tell you some thing about us Crees. Big 
Bear sent me tobacco to give my consent to join him in 
war path and all the tribes out in the prairies. It is 
out on Sweet grass hills thair [they] are to meet, it is 
the Couteney's [customary way] first starting sending 
tobacco to different Bands we all believe thaire is 
going to be a Indian War with the Whites. I Takoot got 
Tobacco from Mr. Carey's store to day to send back to 
Big Bear by Papasschase who is going down to B Toord 
[Battleford] to tell him I can't see in the thing to 
give my consent Because the Whiteman allways treats us 
well & kind & never murdered us since we made Peace 
with them I will not Consent. I send my best wishes to 
you all down thare Big Bear thing [think] on your Child¬ 
ren & you peopul & you Piepot the same smoke this tobacco 
& stop this excitement. I am Takoots your Friend I neve 
[never] seen you yet & you seeam to know me, J 


l44 W. Anderson to the Indian Commissioner, June 6, 1884, P.A.C 
Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3687, File 13,772. 

- 1+5 [Tahkoots to W. Anderson], June 9, 1884, P.A.C., Indian 
Affairs Records, Vol. 3576, File 309B and Vol. 3745, File 29,506 pt. 1 
The first reference is to the apparent original letter received by 
Anderson which he forwarded to the Indian Commissioner, The second 
reference is to the copy of the letter forwarded to Ottawa by Dewdney. 
The quotation above is from the first reference, while the words in 




69 


Two weeks later, Anderson forwarded this communication on to 
his superiors with the addendum that it confirmed other reports to the 
same purport. 146 The Department replied that Tahkoots was to be 
specially commended for his conduct in the matter. 147 This was no 
doubt done, but if Tahkoots received any further information concerning 
Big Bear's activities, he did not again communicate it to the govern¬ 
ment. 

Whether Big Bear planned armed confrontation or peaceful pro¬ 
test, the outbreak of rebellion in March of 1885 caught Big Bear, and 

I h O 

the Indians of the North West by surprise." News of Riel's victory 
at.Duck Lake was carried across the Prairies by Metis runners, hoping 
to enlist the Indians to their cause. According to the Bulletin , Pass- 
passchase's Band had been informed of the news before the first tele¬ 
gram on the subject had arrived. Tahkoots, again, had informed the 
Agent. Apart from Riel's runners, the Indians had other, less 


square brackets are Dewdney's rendering of the original. The hand¬ 
writing is difficult to decipher, and the Commissioner's version of 
the letter is no doubt very nearly correct, but it is possible to 
wonder whether "Couteney's" might not have referred to the Kootenay 
Indians, rather than a garbled version of "customary way." 

14 ®W. Anderson to the Indian Commissioner, June 23, 1884, 
P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3576, File 309B. 

I^r. Sinclair to E. Dewdney, August 4, 1884, P.A.C., Indian 
Affairs Records, Vol. 3576, File 3C9A. 

148Fraser, "Big Bear, Indian Patriot;" W. B. Cameron, On the 
War Trail of Big Bear , (London; 1926). 

11+9 "Local," Edmonton Bulletin , April 4, 1885. p. 1. See also 
J. M. Rae, telegram to the Indian Commissioner, March 22, 1885, P.A.C., 
Indian Affaiirs Records, Vol. 3584, File 1130-1A. This telegram from 
the Indian Agent at Battleford, states that Riel had sent runners to 
Battleford, Big Bear's Camp at Frog Lake, and Edmonton, declaring that 














reliable, means of keeping informed of events. On April 18, 1885, the 


Edmonton Bulletin reported: 

Tah-koots, of the Two Hills band, has been making medicine 
and prophesys that five hundred soldiers will be here on 
Tuesday next. He forgot to state whether they were to be 
whites or Indians. 15 ^ 

While the Indians might have been restless during the course 
of the outbreak to the east, many whites in Edmonton were in a state 
approaching panic. One rumour flew to the effect that the St. Albert 
half-breeds were holding secret meetings,* 5 * another said that the St. 
Albert Metis wished to enroll themselves on the side of the government, 
but had been dissuaded by the Roman Catholic clergy. 152 It was dec¬ 
lared by some that the Hudson's Bay post at Lac Ste. Anne had been 
looted, and by others that the establishment had had an exceptional and 
peaceful trade with the Indians. 153 Imminent attacks on Fort Edmonton 
were continually predicted. 15i+ 


the Metis had commenced war, even before the engagement at Duck Lake. 

15 ^Untitled item, Edmonton Bulletin , April 18, 1885, p. 2. 

151 James McDougall, George A. Simpson and H. Griesbach, tele¬ 
gram to E. Dewdney, March 21, 1885, P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, 

Vol. 3585, File 1130-12. 

152 W. Anderson to E. Dewdney, April 15, 1885, P.A.C., Indian 
Affairs Records, Vol. 3585, File 1130-12. 

I C ^ 

Ibid . There are two letters of the same date from Anderson 
to Dewdney in this file. The first reports the looting; the second 
denies it. 


154 W. Anderson to the Indian Commissioner, April 9, 1885, 
P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3585, File 1130-12 and "Local," 
Edmonton Bulletin , April 25, 1885, p. 1. 












Indian Agent William Anderson was among those most frightened 
by the swirl of events. While other Agents, whose Indians were no less 
restless than the Edmonton Bands, were constantly travelling from 
reserve to reserve, dispelling rumours, conferring with the different 
chiefs, and pacifying the young men of their bands, 155 Anderson re¬ 
moved all his supplies to the Hudson's Bay Company storehouse, locked 
up the Agency office, and huddled with his "necessary" books and papers 
inside the Hudson's Bay Company fort. 156 He did provide the Passpass- 
chase and Enoch's Bands with two yoke of work oxen apiece in order to 
keep them occupied, 0 and even managed to win the praise of the Bull¬ 
etin , on one occasion, for his refusal to provide food and transport¬ 
ation for a delegation of Enoch's and Alexander's Indians who had come 
to the fort to see him. 156 But his principal contributions to the 
pacification of the district were to make continuous pleas to Dewdney 
for more arms, more ammunition, more food for the beseiged whites, and 

155 For example, it seems quite clear that the strenuous efforts 
of Agent Allan McDonald in Southern Saskatchewan, and special agent 
C. E. Denny among the Blackfeet were instrumental in obtaining import¬ 
ant pledges of loyalty from the Indians at critical times. See P.A.C., 
Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3584, File 1130-3A and Vol. 3585, Files 
1130-3B and 1130-15. 

*56w. Anderson to the Indian Commissioner, April 15, 1885; 

W. Anderson to E. Dewdney, April 15, 1885; both in P.A.C., Indian 
Affairs Records, Vol. 3585, File 1130-12. 

157 Ibid . 

158"Local," Edmonton Bulletin , April 25, 1885, p. 1. 












icq 

a strong force of men to protect them. When all danger had passed, 

Anderson next became fearful that the government would treat the rebels 
too leniently. He declared that if this were done there would be no 
safety in future for any Indian Agent or farm instructor. "Nothing 
can be done unless terror is struck into them." He further declared 
that: 

In fact, I can see by their behavior at the present time, 
that the Indians who have not joined the late depredations 
have a saucy independent manner with them, and appear to 
think they have been fools for not joining in the murders 
and plunder and be better off, and think they would not 
have been justly punished for their misdeeds as they have 
an idea the whites are afraid to punish them. DU 

The Agent also allowed that he had a little list of those Indians who 
had done "much mischief in this District" so that they might be suit¬ 
ably punished, even though the amount of damage done in the Edmonton 
Agency was almost negligible 


159 See W. Anderson's letters to the Indian Commissioner dated 
April 19, April 15, April 15, May 18, and May 20, 1885, all in P.A.C., 
Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3585, File 1130-12. 

160 W. Anderson to the Indian Commissioner, June 3, 1885, P.A.C., 
Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3585, File 1130-12. 

1 ° * Ibid . For example, the damage allegedly done on the Pass- 
passchase Reserve amounted to $18.23. This amount consisted entirely 
of lost farm implements and carpenter's tools—such small items could 
very easily have been lost at any time during the winter or spring, 
and it is questionable if even these small losses could in any way 
have been attributed to the rebellion. See J. Ansdell Macrae, "Memo 
of loss of property (received from the Indian Department) During the 
rebellion of 1885. Passpasschase's Band ..." December 1, 1885, 
P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol, 3720, File 22,897. 







Commissioner Dewdney did not treat the alarmist reports of 
Agent Anderson very seriously.*$2 Peace had been maintained in the 
Agency, although Anderson had done little or nothing to help keep it. 
When the troubles were over, the Commissioner was more anxious to 
reward the loyal Indians of the district than to punish any who might 
have done minor mischief.*63 in this regard, the man most frequently 
praised for maintaining peace among his band was Chief Passpasschase. 
While a few members, led by Tahkoots, were described as idle and rest¬ 
less, 1 ^ 4 and ready to go to where the fighting was raging, 1 ^ the 
Chief was credited with keeping the greater part of his band steadily 
at work. 166 In the end he received a reward of two yoke of oxen for 
his loyalty, and was the only Indian in the Edmonton Agency to be so 


162 E. Dewdney to Sir John A. Macdonald, May 1, 1885, P.A.C., 
Macdonald Papers, Vol. 212, No. 90226? L. Vankoughnet to E. Dewdney, 
July 9, 1885, P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3585, File 1130-12. 

icq 

E. Dewdney to Agent, Edmonton, August 5, 1385, P.A.C., 
Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3585, File 1130-12. 


16i+ W. Anderson to E. Dewdney, May 20, 1885 and W. Anderson to 
the Indian Commissioner, October 7, 1885, both in P.A.C., Indian 
Affairs Records, Vol. 3585, File 1130-12. 


165, 'Local," Edmonton Bulletin , April 18, 1885, p. 1. 


166 W. Anderson to the Indian Commissioner, October 7, 1885 and 
S. B. Lucas to the Indian Commissioner, April 15, 1885, both in P.A.C., 
Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3585, File 1130-12. Hayter Reed to the 
Superintendent General, January 25, 1886, P.A.C., Indian Affairs 
Records, Vol. 3710, File 19,550-4. W. Anderson to the Superintendent 
General, August 26, 1885, in Canada, S essional Papers for 1886 , Vol. 

XIX (No. 4), pp. 70-72. '" ' 









honoured. 


Even the Edmonton Bulletin was pleased. 


167 


168 


Passpasschase's behaviour in keeping his band steadily at work 
was all the more remarkable in that the government had never been 
satisfied with its previous efforts in this direction. In 1880 the 
band had bestirred itself to plant twenty-four acres of crops and in 
1881 band members had increased their exertions to the point where they 

had sown thirty-two acres. 165 But this progress was not continued. 

i 7 n 

The area planted declined in 1882, and no progress was reported 
thereafter until the Rebellion. Indian Reserve Inspector T. P. Wads¬ 
worth was especially critical of the band's attitude: 

Being mostly half-breeds and very indolent, they will not 
work more than to keep body and soul together, and not at 
all if fed by the Government. 171 

Commissioner Dewdney agreed, and declared that the bulk of the band 
was "a worthless loto" 172 


167 Hayter Reed to the Superintendent General of Indian Affairs, 
January 25, 1886, P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3710, File 
19,550-4. 

168»«Local," Edmonton Bulletin , June 26, 1886, p. 1. 

169 E. Dewdney, "Farming Agencies and Indian Reservations," n.d., 
[January 1, 1882], Canada, Sessional Papers for 1882 , Vol. XV (No. 6) f 
pp. 44-53. 

170 Canada, D.I.A., "Farming Agencies and Indian Reservations," 
(1882), Canada, Sessional Papers for 1883 , Vol. XVI (No. 5), pp. 264- 
275. 

171t. p, Wadsworth report no the Superintendent General, 

December 9, 1882, Canada, Sessional Papers for 1883 , Vol. XVI (No. 5) 

p. 181. 

j - 72 E. Dewdney to the Superintendent General, November 10, .1884, 
P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3700, File 16,692 vol. 1. 














While only a few of the band attempted to farm, 173 a good many 
attempted to support themselves by hunting near Hay Lakes and the 
Beaver Hills. 174 Indeed, Inspector Wadsworth acknowledged that 
"excepting at the time of the annuity payments the band is hard to 

find." 173 Others occasionally worked for settlers, 176 or for the 

177 

Department of Indian Affairs. A few survived as beggars or prosti- 

1 7 o 

tutes around Fort Edmonton. 

These modes of living were not likely to gain approval from 
officials of the Department of Indian Affairs, but if the government 
expected the band to farm, it had a few shortcomings of its own to 
answer for. As late as 1884, the Indians of the Edmonton Agency had 


173 Ibid . T. P. Wadsworth to the Superintendent General, 

October 25, 1884, Canada, Sessional Papers for 1885 , Vol. XVIII (No. 3), 
pp. 145-146. 

174"Local," Edmonton Bulletin , November 4, 1882, p. 1. 

17 5t. P. Wadsworth to the Superintendent General, October 9, 
1383, Canada, Sessional Papers for 1884 , Vol. XVII (No. 4), p. 126. 

17S E. Dewdney, "Number of Indians in the North-West Terri¬ 
tories, and their whereabouts on the 31st December, 1882," December 15, 
1882, Canada, Sessional Papers for 1883 , Vol. XVI (No. 5), pp, 201-203. 

177 L. Vankoughnet and Robert Sinclair, "Return C.5 - Indians 
of Manitoba and the North-West Subsidiary Statement L," June 30, 1882, 
Canada, Sessional Papers for 1883 , Vol. XVI (No. 5), pt. II, p. 167. 

178"south Side Reserve," Edmonton Bulletin , August 2, 1884, 
p. 2 and T. P. Wadsworth to Edgar Dewdney, February 1, 1884, P.A.C., 
Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3640, File 7452 vol. 3. 

















not received their full complement of farm implements according to the 
terms of Treaty Six. 179 Chief Passpasschase and his followers drew 
attention to this breach of faith on a couple of occasions, before 
measures were taken to set things right. 180 Nor had the band received 
the services of a farm instructor. While no promise had been made in 
the treaty on that score, such instruction was usual for most bands 
which had settled on their reserves. Technically, Passpasschase's 
Indians were placed under the guidance first of S. B. Lucas at Peace 
Hills 181 and later of W. J. O'Donnell of Riviere Qui Barre, 182 but both 
were far off, and neither seem to have paid any attention to the band. 
Mr. J. Shields, a former North West Mounted Policeman, was appointed 
farm instructor shortly after the rebellion, but he was not of much 
assistance. Inspector Wadsworth reported that the Indians knew how to 
farm as well as their Instructor did, and suspected that Shield's pri¬ 
mary function had been to issue rations on a much more regular basis 
than the government would approve of. 183 The Instructor resigned in 


179 Sir John A. Macdonald to the Marquis of Lansdowne, Governor 
General, January 1, 1884, Canada, Sessional Papers for 1884 , Vol. XVII 
(No. 4), p. xi. 

188 3obtail et al . to the Minister of the Interior, January 7, 
1883, Edmonton Bulletin , February 3, 1883, p. 3, and "The Indians," 
Edmonton Bulletin , August 4, 1883, p. 2, and untitled item, Edmonton 
Bulletin , March 15, 1884, p. 1. 

181 See E. Dewdney, "Farming Agencies and Indian Reservations," 
(January 1, 1882), Canada, Sessional Papers for 1882 , Vol. XV (No, 6), 
pp. 44-53. 

182 E. Dewdney, "Statement shewing the names and number of 
labourers employed on Indian Farms in the N.W.T. . . ." n.d. [May, 
1882], P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3598, File 1387, 

183 T. P. Wadsworth to E. Dewdney, October 26, 1885, P.A.C., 
Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3717, File 22,550-2. 

















77 


July of 1886. 184 

In spite of Wadsworth's disparagement, considerable agricult¬ 
ural progress was made by Chief Passpasschase and his followers in 1885. 
Sixty-eight acres were planted* 88 and a good crop harvested. 188 While 
this figure was well below the acreages cultivated by the smaller 
Alexander's, Enoch's, and Michel's Bands, it was still more than double 
the area of any previous year. There was to be no opportunity to see 
if such progress would continue, however. Before the crops could be 
harvested the following year, the Passpasschase Band would be near dis¬ 
integration as the result of a grant from the Government of Canada 
which all but a handful were eager to accept—the issuance of North- 
West Half-Breed Scrip„ 


184 "Local," Edmonton Bulletin , July 17, 1886, p. 1. 

185 T. P. Wadsworth to E. Dewdney, October 26, 1885, P.A.C., 
Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3717, File 22,550-2. 

188 Better than 20 bushels of wheat to the acre. See "Farming 
Agencies and Indian Reservations," (1885), Canada, Sessional Papers for 
1886 , Vol. XIX (No. 4), pp. 204-205 and 212-213. 
















CHAPTER III 


DISINTEGRATION 


The tribal system, which the treaty has 
greatly strengthened, is the curse of 
the Indian and the great bar to his 
civilization. The present desire of the 
Indians as well as half-breeds to leave 
the treaty is an opportunity to let the 
system fall to pieces of its own accord 
without cost or trouble to the country, 
and nothing can be more injudicious than 
to throw any obstacles in the way. 

— Edmonton Bulletin , July 10, 1886. 


78 









The grant of Half-Breed Scrip arose out of the complex question 
of Metis claims. The problem had first arisen in Manitoba, where 
persons of mixed white and Indian blood, who were not recognized as 
Indians, or did not wish to be so recognized, demanded some compensa¬ 
tion for the extinguishment of their aboriginal claims to the land in 
the province. The Metis, like the others in the Red River Settlement, 
were entitled to retain the river lots they occupied. In addition, 
1,400,000 acres were set apart as Half-Breed Reserves, and, in 1871, 
the Half-Breed Land and Scrip Commission began to grant 240 acres to 
every child of a Metis head of family. In 1874, it was decided to 
bestow an additional 160 acres on the Metis heads of family. The 
Commission would give the Metis applicant a certificate which entitled 
him to his allotment of land within the Half-Breed Reserve, and this 
certificate was known as "land scrip." The 1,400,000 acres were not 
sufficient for the Manitoba Metis, and so the government began to 
issue "money scrips" for $240 and $160. These scrips were not actually 
cash, but rather another type of certificate which entitled their 
holders to the stated amounts towards the purchase of any unoccupied 
Crown lands in the province.- 

The programme had not worked well in Manitoba. Instead, of 
providing a secure economic base for the next generation of Manitoba 
Metis,' it actually worked to increase that generation’s insecurity. 

The heads of families usually sold their scrips at a discount to specu- 

1 Marcel Giraua, Le Metis Canadia n._ Son rol e dans I'histoire 

des provinces de 1* Quest , (Paris: Institut d 'Ethnologie, .1945) pp. 
1116-1124, 1212-1218. Morris Zaslow, The Opening of the Canadian 
North, 1870-1914 . (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1971), pp. 20-21. 














80 


lators and settlers. Before long, the proceeds had been squandered and 

the original scrip claimant and his children were left with nothing. 

Many of these people then moved west to the valley of the South Saskat- 

o 

chewan, where agitation for a second scrip issue was soon commenced. 

The Dominion Government resisted this demand for some time, but finally 
in March of 1885, as the menace of open rebellion grew, it capitulated. 2 3 

There were to be a number of differences between the Manitoba 
and North West scrip programmes. In the Territories no attempt was made 
to establish Half-Breed Reserves, and land scrip could be located on any 
unoccupied sections open for homestead entry. The grant would be avail¬ 
able in either the "land" or "money" variety, at the rate of 240 acres 
or $240 for each child of a Metis head of family born before July 15, 
1870, and 160 acres or $160 to each Metis head of family, as in Manitoba, 
but, as the price of Dominion Lands had' recently been doubled to $2 per 
acre, 14 a decided disadvantage would accrue to those choosing the "money" 
type. On the other hand, "land scrip" had to be applied to a specifi¬ 
cally located tract of land, and was not readily transferable.^ 

2 Ibid . Also see George F, G. Stanley, The Birth of Western 
Canada: A History of the Riel Rebellions . (Toronto: University of 

Toronto Press, 1961) pp. 178-182. 

3 A. M. Burgess to E. Dewdney, March 30, 1885, P.A.C., Indian 
Affairs Records, Vol. 3584, File 1130. 

14 "Scrip," Edmonton Bulleti n, June 6, 1885, p. 2. 

3 The regulations for the North West Half-Breed Scrip Issue were 
embodied in a number of Orders in Council. See Canada, Privy Council, 
Orders in Council, March 30, 1885; April 18, 1885; July 2, 1885; 

April 13, 1886; all in P.A.C., Privy Council Records, Series 1; Vol. 

306, P.C. 688/1885; Vol. 307, P.C. 821/1885; Vol. 312, P.C. 1202/1885; 
and Vol. 334, P.C. 657/1886, respectively. 






















Another factor which was apparently of minor importance in the 
Manitoba scrip issue, but which was to be very significant in the 
North West, was the question of Treaty Indians who were of mixed white 
and Indian parentage being permitted to accept scrip. * * * * * * 7 8 It was true 
that a number of Metis had expressed their desire to leave the Treaty 
as early as 1881, 7 and a few had actually repaid the annuities they 
had previously collected in order to be free from the Indian Depart¬ 
ment's control. 8 But it is not clear whether the government contem¬ 
plated that such withdrawals would be encouraged. Instructions were 
issued calling on Indian Agents to assist the scrip commissioners, 
and to identify any Indian who made a claim to participate in the 

q 

grant, but the purpose of such identification was not made clear. 

The Agent's primary concern seems to have been to ensure that the 
Treaty Metis would not succeed in collecting annuities again, after 


°It was not until 1880 that Metis were given the right to 
withdraw from Treaty under the terms of the Indian Act . By that date, 

the scrip grant in Manitoba was almost a decade old. A few members of 

the St. Peter’s Band did repay a portion of their annuities and accept 

scrip in the 1870's, although there was no legal authority for them to 
do so. Deputy Superintendent General Lawrence Vankoughnet was lauer 

to argue that such withdrawals were null and void. See P.A.C., Indian 

Jiff airs Records, Vol. 3619, File 4646-5. 

7 [Indian Agent, Edmonton, to the Indian Commissioner] n.d., 

[May, 1881] and W. Anderson, report to the Superintendent General, 
December 13, 1831; both in Canada, Sessional Papers for 1882 , Vol. 

XV (No. 6), pp. xx-xxii and 83-86 respectively. 

8 W. Anderson to the Indian Commissioner, July 13, 1886, P.A.C., 
Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3753, File 31,665. 

8 A. M. Burgess to E. Dewdney, March 30, 1885; L. Vankoughent to 
E. Dewdney, March 31, 1885; both in P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 
3584, File 1130. The policy may be more clearly set out in the initial 
instructions to the scrip commissioners which I have not found. 















having received scrip, and so offered no opposition to their departure 
from the Treaty.^ A pattern was soon established under which the 
Treaty applicant for scrip would be granted a written discharge from 
Treaty by his Agent which would indicate the sum of the annuities 
which the applicant had received since the date of the Treaty on its 
face. Such amount was then deducted from the amount of scrip granted 
to the applicant. Without such a discharge, scrip would not be granted 
to anyone who had been in receipt of annuities for Indians. 11 

The Half-Breed Scrip Commission reached Edmonton on June 3, 

1885, accompanied by a small group of well-heeled speculators from 
Calgary and Winnipeg. 12 Flush times followed them. About fifty scrips 
were issued per day, many to the heirs of victims of the great small¬ 
pox epidemic of 1870, and these were quickly purchased by the specula¬ 
tors, who thus'added about $5,000 to $7,000 daily to the money in cir¬ 
culation in the district. 13 The speculators preferred the money 
scrip, which was more readily transferable, and could be applied to 
land in Manitoba or other, more settled, regions of the North West, and 
were reported to have been disgusted when some of the St. Albert Metis 

1 ^Magnus Begg to the Indian Commissioner, May 25, 1885, P.A.C., 
Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3585, File 1130-15. 

^Examples of these discharges from Treaty can be found in 
P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3587, File 1239-1,-2,-3 etc, passim. 

1 9 

The Bulletin mentions Messrs. Hanover, Vivien, Dodds and 
C. Allowav. See "Local,” Edmonton Bulletin , June 6, 1885, p. 1. 

13,1 ’Local," Edmonton Bulletin, June 13, 1835, p, 1. 








33 


insisted on taking the land variety. li+ On the whole, the buyers had 
their way. All in all, eight hundred sixty-five certificates for money 
scrip were issued at Edmonton and St. Albert, as against only one 
hundred twenty-five for land scrip, even though the value of the 
latter was double that of the former in terms of the number of acres 
it could have provided to the Metis. 15 In fact, so much money scrip 
was issued that the speculators were caught short of funds to purchase 
all that was offered for sale, and several of them had to return to 
Calgary to replenish their supply of cash. 16 The price consequently 
fell to below $0.50 on the dollar. Even so, the Bulletin considered 

that more than $50,000 in cash was put into circulation in the Edmon- 

1 ft 

ton district by the speculators during the month of June. 

Apart from the great infusion of money into the small local 
economy, the Bulletin saw another advantage that was to be attributed 
to the visit of the scrip commissioners. 


14 


:bid. 


15 "Local," Edmonton Bulletin , July 4, 1885, p. 1. The official 
figures for land and money scrips at Edmonton and St. Albert as pub¬ 
lished in the Annual Report of the Commissioner were 430 persons taking 
money scrip and 127 taking land scrip. The difference is accounted for 
in part by the fact that some persons received two or more certifi¬ 
cates, being heirs to deceased Metis. Also, some persons may have 
proved their claims at a later date by correspondence. See Canada, 
Sessional Papers for 188 6, Vol. XIX (No. 45), pt. V, p. 2. 

1D "Local," Edmonton Bulletin , June 20, 1835, p. 1; June 27, 
1885, p. 1; and July 4, 1385,'p. 1. 


17,, Local," Edmonton Bulletin , June 20, 1885, p. 1, 

18"Financial," Edmonton Bulletin , June 20, 1885, p. 2. 
















34 


Not the least benefit that the scrip issue is conferring 
on the country is the means it offers half-breeds who 
have become treaty Indians to free themselves by paying 
back the treaty money they have received in scrip. By 
freeing themselves from the treaty they relieve the gov¬ 
ernment of a considerable charge and heavy responsibility 

and enroll themselves in the ranks of the workers instead 

1 9 

of the drones, to which they formerly belonged. 

Indian Agent Anderson appears to have been perfectly willing to grant 

o r\ 

discharges from Treaty to all who wished them. u During June and July 
of 1885, he processed the withdrawal of two hundred two Metis from 
Treaty, together with such of their children who were less than fifteen 
years of age. 21 A few of these were from the Victoria Agency, 22 but 
the great majority came from two Edmonton Bands—Michel's, having a 
reserve near St. Albert, and the Edmonton Stragglers, which by this 
time primarily consisted of women and children who had not been induced 
to settle on a reserve with any regular band. 23 Only twelve members of 


19 Untitled item, Edmonton Bulletin , July 4, 1885, p. 2. 

20, ’Local,” Edmonton Bulletin , July 4, 1885, p. 2. Anderson 
granted at least one discharge to a woman who was subsequently unable 
to prove that she had any white parentage. SeeP.A.C., Indian Affairs 
Records, Vol. 3587, File 1239-14 re the case of Nancy Lebrun. 

21 W. Anderson to the Superintendent General, August 26, 1885, 
Canada, Sessional Papers for 1886 , Vol. XIX (No.-4), pp. 70-72. 

22 Victoria is the former name for Pakan, Alberta, near Smoky 
Lake. The Indian bands living in the Victoria district (i.e. those at 
Saddle Lake, Egg or Whitford Lake, Whitefish Lake, Beaver Lake, Heart 
Lake, and Lac la Biche) were under the administration of the Edmonton 
Agency until 1885, when a separate Victoria Agency was established 
under Mr. John A. Mitchell, Agent. 

23 P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3587, File 1239, 

passim. 













Passpasschase's Band took the opportunity to free themselves from the 
24 

Treaty. For many, withdrawal was not very attractive or even poss¬ 
ible. They had large families, and would not have received much scrip 
if any, after the sums which they had received in annuities had been 
deducted. 

Since they had experienced difficulty in securing all the 
scrip available to them at Edmonton, it does not seem likely that the 
speculators would have over-exerted themselves to induce more Metis to 
obtain discharges from Treaty at that place. Nevertheless, the Deputy 
Superintendent General of Indian Affairs, Lawrence Vankoughnet, re¬ 
ported to Sir John A. Macdonald in early April of 1886 that he had 
learned that "interested parties" had held out inducements to some 
Metis enrolled in the Treaty to have them obtain discharges and par¬ 
ticipate in the half-breed grant. The deputy reported that "the most 
dissolute and improvident Half-breeds connected with the Treaties" 
were the ones that had received the greatest attention, and that in 
many cases, these persons had been persuaded "to leave the Treaty and 


24 They were Isaac Daigneault, St. Genvieve Douquette, Abraham 
Cummings (Longbones), Maria Lapointe, Pierre Nadeau, Pierre (Jacob) 
Cardinal, Michel Cardinal, Agnes Cardinal, Abraham Brunneau, Rosalie 
Gladeau, Christine Glaaeau (Lightening), and Mary Cardinal. See 
P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3587, Files 1239-7,-78,-85,-133, 
“147,-153,-154,-155,-163,-180,-185, and -158. Also D.I.N.A., Annuity 
Paysheets for 1885 - Passpasschase Band. Mary Cardinal is not listed 
on the paysheets. There were a number of others who received dis¬ 
charges at distant poinrs who had at one time been paid annuities as 
members of Passpasschase's Band. These people do not seem to have ever 
identified themselves with the band, and only collected the annuities 
with it as a matter of convenience. See, for example, the Vandalle 
family, P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3587, Files 1239-375,-376, 
-377, and -378. 








86 


accept of scrip [sic], which they no sooner obtain than they dispose 
of for a trifle to the interested parties aforesaid and spend the pro¬ 
ceeds in dissapation [sic]." Pointing out that these Metis would even¬ 
tually be thrown as a burden again upon the government, Vankoughnet 
insisted that steps should be taken to prevent such abuses before the 
next visit of the scrip commission to the North West in the coming 
summer. Noting that one of the most effective lies being fostered 
among the Treaty Metis was that they would not be compelled to leave 
their reserves after they took scrip, he issued instructions to 
Commissioner Dewdney to explicitly warn all persons seeking discharges 
from Treaty that this was not the case, and that all persons who with¬ 
drew from Treaty would be evicted from their reserves forthwith. The 
deputy also recommended that all scrip issued to Metis who had once 
been members of any Indian bands, should be non-transferable for a term 

O C 

of five years. 

Rather than take steps to combat the abuse which Vankoughnet 
had identified, the government greatly aggravated the problem. Thomas 
White, the Minister of the Interior and thus the Minister responsible 
for the North-West Half-Breed Scrip Commission, flatly rejected the 
Deputy Superintendent General's suggestion that the transferability of 
scrip be limited. D Furthermore, the government reversed itself on its 
policy of deducting a refund of Indian annuities from the value of 
scrip issued to Treaty Metis. Those who had been charged for such a 

25 L. Vankoughnet ro Sir John A. Macdonald, April 3, 1886, 
F.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3723, File 24,303-2. 

2e Thomas White to Sir John A, Macdonald, April 12, 1886, 




refund in 1885 were to receive a second certificate of scrip in the 
amount of their previous deduction, and other Metis in Treaty no longer 
had to weigh the cost of the repayment of their annuities against the 
value of the full scrip grant. 27 This was to make Half-Breed Scrip 
very much more attractive to many Treaty Indians, and in 1886 there 
were to be many "interested parties" eager to convince them to forsake 
their Indian status. 

Problems first became evident at the Bear's Hills Indian Agency, 
south of Edmonton. Scrip speculators had hired Metis runners to con¬ 
vince as many Indians as possible to seek discharges from the Treaty, 
and when the Scrip Commission arrived, it was quite evident that this 

O O 

tactic had had some effect. To the consternation of the speculators. 
Agent Lucas attempted to provide the Indians who were clamouring for 
scrip an opportunity to reconsider. He closed his office and accom¬ 
panied Inspector Wadsworth on a tour of his reserves, thus delaying 


P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3723, File 24,303-2. 

2 7 

I have been unable to locate the files containing the details 
of this change in policy, or any indication of the reasons for it. 
Possibly it was considered that the government had no legal right to 
recover the annuities. The change was made, much to the bewilderment 
of men like William Anderson. W. Anderson to the Indian Commissioner, 
July 13, 1886, P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3758, File 31,665. 

2 ft 

Charles Whitford of Blindman was one such runner. See 
T. P. Wadsworth to E. Dewdney, July 8, 1886, P.A.C., Indian Affairs 
Records, Vol. 3746, File 29,690-4. 






88 


the grant of any discharges from Treaty. This only succeeded in 

p q 

angering all parties. 

And so the discharges began. Inspector Wadsworth began to 
become alarmed as he realized that far more applications were being 
made than had been anticipated. Worse, those who had left Treaty 
immediately went to work in an effort to convince their friends to join 
them. Those who showed themselves unwilling to forsake the Treaty were 
taunted with cries of "Slave" and told "Everything you have belongs to 

q n 

the Government!" at every turn. u The Agent had no instructions which 
would have permitted him to refuse anyone's application for discharge 
that had been made according to form, and since the only evidence 
required was that of sworn statements by friends to the effect that the 
applicant was of mixed blood, few Indians had any difficulty in 
"proving" that they were entitled to be considered "half-breeds." d1 
The situation grew worse as many of the Metis from the district around 
the Bear's Hills Reserves became disgruntled that so many people should 
have been allowed the benefits of both the Indian Treaty and scrip, 
while they had to be content with the scrip alone. Furthermore, there 
were threatening rumours that those who had received Treaty discharges 
would not permit the benefits of the Treaty to be taken from them. 

Each applicant was carefully informed that he would lose all special 

23 S. B. Lucas [to the Indian Commissioner], June 30, 1886, 
P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3752, File 32,353. 

30 T. P. Wadsworth to E. Dewdney, July 8, 1886, P.A.C., Indian 
Affairs Records, Vol. 3746, File 29,690-4. 

31 T. P. Wadsworth to E. Dewdney, July 7, 1886, P.A.C., Indian 
Affairs Records, Vol. 3724, File 24,303-2A. 




89 


q p 

rights he had formerly enjoyed as an Indian. Nevertheless, many of 
those who had left Treaty stated privately that should they ever need 
assistance in the future, they would compel the government to extend 
it to them, and when warned that they would be evicted from the 
reserves replied: "We'll see about that!" 33 As the members of their 
bands became more and more unsettled, Chiefs Samson and Ermineskin 
appealed to Inspector Wadsworth to prohibit any further discharges 
from Treaty in their Agency. 3l+ Without any authority from his super¬ 
iors, Wadsworth ordered Agent Lucas to stop granting discharges on 
July 1, 1886. 35 The latter readily agreed, but already. Chief Bobtail 
and the majority of his Band had declared themselves Metis, and taken 
scrip, and many from Samson's and Ermineskin’s Bands besides. 33 

When the Scrip Commission moved to Edmonton on July 3, the 
problem was repeated on a larger scale. Some Indians had taken care 
to get their discharges from Treaty before the Commission arrived, 
including Frangois Gladieu and his family, a headman of Chief Pass- 
passchase. 3/ There were many more who wished to follow him. In fact 

32 Hayter Reed to the Superintendent General, April 8, 1886, 
P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3723, File 24,303-1. 

33 T. p. Wadsworth to E. Dewdney, July 8, 1886, P.A.C., Indian 
Affairs Records, Vol. 3746, File 29,690-4. 

34 Ibid. 

35 T. P. Wadsworth to E. Dewdney, July 7, 1886, P.A.C., Indian 
Affairs Records, Vol. 3724, File 24,303-2A. Also S. B. Lucas, "Reg¬ 
ister of Letters Received," in "Hobbema Indian Agency Papers, 1884- 
1949," Glenhow-Alberta Institute, Calgary. 

33 "Local," Edmonton Bulletin , July 3, 1886, p. 1? "Local," 
ibid ., July 10, 1886, p. 1. 

37 Frangois Gladieu was originally from Lac la Biche and does 









90 


the entire membership of Passpasschase and Enoch's Bands left their 
reserves and camped near the Scrip Commission All members of the 
Passpasschase Band wished to withdraw from Treaty, hoping, they said, 
to homestead their reserve. Chief Enoch and the majority of his band 

o q 

had a similar ambition. ^ 

Inspector Wadsworth, who had moved on to Edmonton, became even 

more alarmed. The claim of Passpasschase and his followers that they 

would homestead their reserve, he regarded as ridiculous. Writing to 

Commissioner Dewdney, he expostulated: 

Now sir you are well aware how largely this band is made 
up of widows, old people and children, they cannot poss¬ 
ibly make their own living: the Chief and his brothers 
are undoubtedly half-breeds and might scratch along, but 
even they have each two wives and numbers of children. 140 

As for the members of Enoch's Band who were clamouring for discharges, 

the Inspector believed that to allow them such, would "only send so 

many paupers out into the country." 

Already there have been discharges granted to some who as 
Indians were quite unable to provide a living for them¬ 
selves and families, but Indian like, they are contented 
to let tomorrow look out for itself providing they get 
the scrip. 41 


not appear to have been related to Chief Passpasschase, despite the 
Gladu name. See P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 358S, Files 
1239-473 to 1239-477. Also, P.A.C., Interior Records, Vol. 1349, File: 
"Gladieu," (Frangois, Catherine, Edward Charles). 

o8 W. Anderson to the Indian Commissioner, July 31, 1836, P.A.C., 
Indian Affairs Records,Vol. 3763, File 32,594. 

39 T. P. Wadsworth to E. Dewdney, July 7, 1886, P.A.C., Indian 
Affairs Records, Vol. 3724, File 24,303-2A. 

4Oyvp ^ 


41 Ibid. 



















Wadsworth dispatched an urgent telegram to Commissioner Dewdney 

on July 4, the day the Scrip Commission opened sittings at Edmonton, 

asking if all Indians who represented themselves as Metis but led the 

"same mode of life" as Indians should be allowed discharges, and 

warning that if they were, there would be a "perfect exodus." He 

asked that the Agents be given positive and immediate instructions. 1+2 

Dewdney passed the question on to Ottawa. 4 ^ Ihe Commissioner further 

explained that practically every native in the Saskatchewan Valley 

had some white blood, and it was not too difficult for an Indian to 

prove such. He, too, was alarmed at the large numbers asking for 

scrip, and outlined the situation in terms similar to Wadsworth’s: 

Led by a desire for immediate acquisition, and undeterred 
by prudential forethought, or provident consideration, 
many now desire to cast away the fruits of their past 
four or five years' labour upon the reserves, and avail 
themselves of the opportunity afforded by the presence of 
the half-breed commission in the north to withdraw and 
obtain scrip. It is almost needless to say that they 
take no heed for the future, but are swayed by the expect¬ 
ation of having a few days of comparative prosperity, to 
be obtained from the sale of their scrip. 

No doubt also, they are influenced by the example of 
halfbreeds, and by the specious representation of 
designing speculators, who have their own ends in view.^* 4 


^ 2 Ibid . 

^E. Dewdney, telegram to L. Vankoughnet, July 7, 1886, P.A.C., 
Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3724, File 24,303-2A. 

4lf E. Dewdney to the Superintendent General, July 7, 1886, 
P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3724, File 24,303-2A. 








92 


The Edmonton Bulletin saw the matter differently: 

If after six or eight years of control and assistance 
under the reserve system the result is that the Indians 
desire to change it for one apparently less advantageous, 
and at the same time have made so little progress in 
civilization as to be as little able to support them¬ 
selves as when they first took the treaty, it is strong 
evidence that the present system is a failure as a 
civilizing influence or as a means of producing 
content [ment] , and therefore should be changed. . . . 45 

Both Dewdney and Wadsworth recommended that some system be est¬ 
ablished under which discretion could be exercised by some represent¬ 
ative of the Department in deciding whether a discharge should be 
allowed. The Inspector cautioned against leaving responsibility for 
such decisions with the Agent, "for if men (Indians) are forced to 
remain in Treaty by the action of the Agent it will not increase his 
influence or popularity among them." 46 Dewdney, for his part, warned 
that if persons unable to support themselves were allowed to withdraw, 
the government would eventually be forced to feed them, as it could 
not permit them to starve, and many such persons would, through des¬ 
peration, soon be involved in criminal activities. 47 

Meanwhile in Edmonton, the Scrip Commission got down to 
business, and it certainly enlivened the Edmonton scene: 


45 "Treaty vs. Scrip," Edmonton Bulletin , August 7, 1886, p. 2. 

46 T. P. Wadsworth to E. Dewdney, July 7, 1886, P.A.C., Indian 
Affairs Records, Vol. 3724, File 24,3G3-2A. 

47 E. Dewdney to the Superintendent General, July 7, 1886, 
P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3724, File 24,303-2A. 











93 


. . . about the land office was like a fair ground, from 
the number of men, women and children, horses and buggies 
of all descriptions, standing leaning or lying around. 

The proceedings were enlivened by an occasional horse 
race and on Wednesday by one or two small fights, but as 
a general thing everything was very quiet and orderly. . . . 

The town had flush times during these four days. The 
stores and saloons reaped a regular harvest, horses and 
cattle changed hands at lightning rate and at good figures, 
and the inspiring horse race absorbed whatever money could 
not conveniently be blown in any other way. 1+8 

Agent Anderson issued a few discharges to Treaty Indians on 

July 5 and 6, including two to members of Passpasschase's Band, 4+9 but 

the crisis came on Wednesday, July 7 when the entire Passpasschase Band 

demanded their discharge. The Agent sent a frantic telegram to 

Commissioner Dewdney in Regina: 

Pass Chase Band made application for discharge from 
treaty alleging themselves to be half-breeds. Enoch's 
contemplate the same: what action am I to take. 

Answer quick. 59 

Since no clear instructions had yet been received from Ottawa, Dewdney 
replied that no further discharges from Treaty should be given until 
further notice. 51 

An immediate howl of protest went up. The members of the Pass¬ 
passchase and Enoch's Bands were described as "disappointed and somewhat 


48 "Scrip," Edmonton Bulletin , July 10, 1886, p. 4. 


49 They were to Margaret Papin 
Lapointe. See P.A.C., Indian Affairs 
1239-481 and 1239-484. 


(Maggie), and to Jean Baptiste 
Records, Vol. 3589, Files 


50 W. Anderson, telegram to E. Dewdney, July 7, 
Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3595, File 1239-12. 


1886, P.A.C., 


51 Hayter Reed to the Superintendent General, July 26, 1886, 
P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3724, File 24,303-2A.. 











94 


C O 

wrathful." They absolutely refused to return to their reserves, 
and continued to camp beside the Scrip Commission, clamouring for 
discharges. 53 Richard Hardisty, the Chief Factor of the Hudson's 
Bay Company at Edmonton, sent Commissioner Dewdney a telegram urging 
that Passpasschase and his brothers be allowed to withdraw. 54 Chief 
Passpasschase went even higher, sending a telegram to Prime Minister 
Sir John A. Macdonald: 

Why can't we get same as peace Hills [Bear's Hills] 
halfbreeds taking treaty, we want our scrip.^ 

The Edmonton Bulletin professed itself to be puzzled: 

The course of the Indian department in refusing to 
grant further discharges to half-breeds who have up to 
the present time been classed as treaty Indians and who 
now desire to resume their proper condition as half- 
breeds and secure scrip is one of the many things done 
by that department which are altogether inexplicable. 

The only reason that can be thought of for this refusal 
is that the parties concerned desire it. But this has 
always been a reason for refusing anything by the 
department. 56 

It had no doubt that it would be most "profitable to the country" and 
beneficial to the parties concerned if they were allowed to forsake 
their Indian status. 


52 "Scrip," Edmonton Bulletin , July 10, 1886, p. 4. 

53 W. Anderson to the Indian Commissioner, July 31, 1886, 
P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3763, File 32,594. 

5i+ R. Hardisty, telegram to E. Dewdney, July 9, 1886, P.A.C., 
Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3595, File 1239-12. 

55 John Quinn (Passpasschase) to Sir John A. Macdonald, July 
15, 1886, P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3724, File 24,303~2A. 

56 "Indian Scrip," Edmonton Bulletin, July 10, 1886, p. 2. 











95 


At present the country pays each one five dollars a year 
in cash and gives them certain stipulated amounts of 
provisions, clothing, ammunition, stock and implements 
and locks up reserves of land in choice locations to the 
amount of 160 acres for each. Besides this the country 
is bound by solemn treaty to replace to them the loss of 
food sustained by the extinction of the buffalo. The 
results of this dependent condition . . . has [sic] been 
anything but beneficial to the Indians. They have lost 
to a very great extent their individual self respect, 
independence and industry, never too highly developed, 
while the half-breeds who joined them . . . have sunk 
from instead of advancing in civilization. 57 

Frank Oliver's newspaper further hypothesized that once freed from the 

belief that the government was bound to feed them, those receiving 

discharges would exert themselves more in order to make a living. It 

admitted that 

No doubt some will leave the treaty from pure improvi¬ 
dence, looking only to the cash which the scrip will 
sell for, and no doubt assistance will be required by 
them at times in the future as it has been in the past. 58 

But it was sure that even in these cases the country would benefit, for 

the government would then be in a much better position to exact work in 

return for the assistance given. 59 


5? ibid . From a factual standpoint, this statement was not 
entirely accurate. Under Treaty 6, bands were entitled to reserves of 
128 acres per capita, not 160. The "stipulated" amounts of provisions, 
stock, and implements which the Bulletin mentions, had, by and large, 
already been given to the Edmonton Bands, and the country could not 
expect a saving on that account. The clothing "stipulated" in the 
Treaty was only for the Chief and Headmen of each band, and did not 
impose a heavy burden on the country. While the government of the day 
would certainly have denied that it was "bound by solemn treaty" to 
replace the loss of food resulting from the extinction of the buffalo, 
the Bulletin 1 s interpretation of this part of the Treaty was probably 
more reasonable. 


5 9 _,-, 
0:7 Ibid. 











96 


It is impossible to say whether such arguments and protests 
had any effect on the government’s decision. The Prime Minister was 
embarking on a trip to the West when the problem arose, 60 and no deci¬ 
sion could be made until his arrival at Winnipeg. When Dewdney and 
Macdonald finally had an opportunity to discuss the matter, they 
decided to adopt a suggestion of Scrip Commissioner Roger Goulet. 61 
Instructions were issued on July 19, declaring that 


Treaty Half-Breeds who clearly show that they are Half 
Breeds and who do not lead the same mode of life as 
Indians should be allowed to withdraw from treaty. 

Others should not be allowed. 62 

A declaration was also drafted which was to be signed by each person 


withdrawing from Treaty, and countersigned by the Indian Agent, who was 


required to certify that the declaration had been read and explained to 
the applicant for discharge. It read as follows: 

I hereby forfeit all Indian rights. I agree to 
leave the reserve, to give up my house and all other 
improvements which I may have on the reserve without 
compensation also any cattle or any implements’ received 
by me as an individual or as a member of the Eand. 63 


Inspector Wadsworth was appointed to make the decisions as to who foll¬ 
owed an Indian "mode of life" and who did not. 64 


6 °L. Vankoughnet, telegram to E. Dewdney, July 8, 1886, P.A.C., 
Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3724, File 24,303~2A. 

6l See R. Goulet, telegram to A. M. Burgess, July 12, 1886, 
P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3724, File 24,303-2A. 

62 Hayter Reed to the Superintendent General, July 26, 1886, 
P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3724, File 24,303-2A. This letter 
contains verbatim quotes from many items since lost. 

63 "Form of Agreement," July, 1886, P.A.C., Indian Affairs Rec¬ 
ords, Vol. 3595, File 1239-12. 

64 Hayter Reed to the Superintendent General, July 26, 1886, 













No doubt, the policy adopted might have been considered a 


practical one, but it seems that it contravened the existing law. 
Because an Indian "mode of life" was difficult to define, decisions 
tended to be made on whether the discharged Indians would be likely to 
support themselves. But the Indian Act had been amended in 1884 to 
allow any "Half-Breed" participating in the benefits of any Indian 
Treaty to be discharged by declaring in writing his desire to with¬ 
draw before two witnesses. There was no provision whatever in the Act 
which would allow any government official to forbid any such with- 

c r 

drawal. But, as there was' no one in Edmonton who drew attention to 

this fact, the Inspector was permitted to practise his discretion. 

Wadsworth was not entirely satisfied with his instructions, and 

requested a definition of "Indian mode of life." He pointed out that 

almost all Indians engaged to some extent in agriculture, albeit with 

varying degrees of success. One family's applications in particular 

which bothered him he referred to the Indian Commissioner: 

Are Chief 'Pass-pass-chase' and brothers to be granted 
discharges, they farm, some live in lodges in summer, 
houses in winter - the course you direct to be pursued 
towards them will guide action in other cases. 


P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3724, File 24,303-2A. 

65 See T. P. Wadsworth to E. Dewdney, July 27, 1886, P.A.C., 
Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3724, File 24,393-2A. 

66 Canada, The Indian Act (1886) , 49 Vic., Cap 43, Sec. 13. 

67 Hayter Reed to the Superintendent General, July 26, 1886, 
P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3724, File 24,303-2A. 







Dewdney tersely replied: 

I think Pass-pass-chase and brothers night be granted 
discharges. 68 

Thus the Chief and Headmen of the band which the Indian Commissioner 
had described as "more Indian in action and appearance than any I have 
seen in some time" less than a year before, were declared to be not 
leading "the same mode of life as Indians" by the same person. 

With this decision, the exodus from Treaty began. The Scrip 
Commission had moved to St. Albert, and the Passpasschase and Enoch's 
Bands had followed them. There, an even greater carnival-like atmos¬ 
phere prevailed. Edmonton was all but deserted as its citizens flocked 
to the neighbouring settlement in order to share in the excitement. 

A dozen beer saloons adorn the grounds, and a lively trade 
is done in everything that can be sold or bought. Horse 
and foot racing and betting have been rife all week, but 
it is impossible to give a report on the numerous events. 

, 69 

It was under these conditions that the large families of Chief Pass¬ 
passchase and his brothers forsook the Indian Treaty. The family took 
the name of Gladieu Quinn from the names of two of their fur trader 
forefathers in the Lesser Slave Lake region from which they had moved 
thirty years before. 7 ^ The discharge of the fifty-eight members of 
the family meant a sizeable reduction in the band's population of one 
hundred ninety-four persons. 7i 

68 Ibid . 

o9 "Locai f " Edmonton B u lletin , July 17, 1886, p. 4. 

70 See P.A.C., Interior Records, Vol. 1364, File "Quinney to 
Quintal." 

71 See P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3589, Files 1239-490, 











But these were not all. Having received specific instructions 
concerning Chief Passpasschase's family, Inspector Wadsworth proceeded 
to draw up general guidelines for other cases. He eventually decided 
that no Metis then in Treaty who received regular rations from his 
Agent, who lived by hunting, or who was a vagrant around white settle¬ 
ments would receive a discharge. Nor would those who could not give 
the English or French name of their fathers. 72 Even so, the task was 
not easy. Wadsworth reported that every Indian seemed able to prove he 
was Metis, even though the Inspector believed that many of the wit¬ 
nesses to this effect were suborned. 73 He gave as one example of his 
problems, the case of Lazarus Lapotac, brother of Chief Enoch Lapotac 
of Stony Plain. Both Lazarus and Enoch, whom Wadsworth declared were 
"known to be pure Indians," wished to take scrip. Before a halt was 
called to Treaty withdrawals, Lazarus had succeeded in drawing scrip as 
the heir of his two deceased brothers, under the names of Joseph and 
Jacob Morin, although not for himself. When asked how he got the name 
Morin, Lazarus had frankly replied that he had chosen it at random 
because he had once known a white many by that name. 7 * 4 Strange situ- 


and 1239-493; Vol. 3590, Files 1239-515,-517,-519,-520,-521,-522,-523, 
-524,-526,-527,-531; and D.I.N.A., Annuity Paysheets for 1SS5 and 1886 - 
Passpasschase Band. The 194 figure is from the 1885 payments. 

72 T. P. Wadsworth to E. Dewdney, July 27, 1886, P.A.C., Indian 
Affairs Records, Vol. 3724, File 24,303-2A. 

73 Ibid . Dewdney, however, does not seem to have believed this. 
He declared that almost every Indian in the Saskatchewan Valley was, to 
some extent, of mixed blood. 

74 T. P. Wadsowrth to E. Dewdney, July 8, 1886, P.A.C., Indian 
Affairs Records, Vol. 3764, File 29,690-4. Enoch and Lazarus were not 
allowed discharges. 








ations had thus arisen in which one man might be declared to be a 
"Half-Breed" and allowed scrip, while his brother might be classed as 
an Indian and denied a discharge from Treaty„ 

Furthermore, there was much ill-feeling concerning Wadsworth's 
frequent refusals to grant discharges to applicants. The Inspector 
reported that the disappointed parties would behave very badly, threat¬ 
ening never to return to their reserves again, and almost committing 
breaches of the peace in their angry demonstrations. The Bulletin , 
too, was critical of Wadsworth's refusing any applicant a discharge 
from Treaty. 

To allow a man to have his own way is the surest means 
• of stopping his complaints, whether he is really bene- 
fitted thereby or not, and as the way these parties 
desire to go will decrease instead of increasing the 
burden and responsibilities of the government, it is 
politic to let them take it. 7 ^ 

Besides this, Frank Oliver's.newspaper declared that a great opportunity 
was being missed: 

By the parties who so desire—whether half-breeds or 
Indians—leaving the treaty the country would be 
relieved from a portion of the annual payments in 
cash and treaty supplies, the reserves could be 
decreased in size or broken up and the country would 
be under no treaty obligation to feed them, the know¬ 
ledge of which would tend to induce them to work for 
themselves. All this would be clear gain to the 
country. 76 


7 °"Treaty vs. Scrip," Edmonton Bulletin , August 7, 1886, p. 2. 


76 


:ndian Scrip," Edmonton Bulletin , July 10, 1886, p. 2. 














101 


But there were others who thought that altogether too many 
discharges were being granted. Rev. Father Z. Lizee, who had conducted 
the school on the Passpasschase Reserve, confided to his private 
journal "Poor savages. 1 How they are to be pitied.' The money which 
they receive will be squandered as quickly as it is received." 77 
Other officials of the Catholic Church were equally concerned. Both 
Bishop Grandin and Father Lacombe communicated with the government, and 
pleaded against allowing any withdrawals from Treaty. 78 

In the middle of such opposing pressures, Inspector Wadsworth 
did grant a considerable number of discharges, although not nearly as 
many as were demanded. In addition to the fifty-eight Gladieu Quinns, 
and their dependent relatives, thirty-eight other members of the Pass¬ 
passchase Band were permitted to escape the bonds of the Indian Treaty. 79 
Thus, by the actions of the North-West Half-Breed Scrip Commission in 
1886, the population of the Two Hills Band of Indians was decreased by 
one hundred two persons, or more than half of its total. 8 0 The Edmonton 


77 My translation of "Pauvres sauvages, qu'ils sont a plaindre.' 
1'argent qu'ils regoivent ils le gaspillent au fur et a mesure ..." 
from Rev. Pere Zeph. Lizee, "Mon Journal prive de 7-7-84 a 19-1-87," 
entry for Juiliet 22, 1886, in Oblate Papers, Alberta Provincial 
Archives, Edmonton. 

78 L. Vankoughnet, telegram to E. Dewdney, July 29, 1886; and 
A. Lacombe to Mr. Vankoughnet, August 6, 1886, P.A.C., Indian Affairs 
Records, Vol. 3724, File 24,303-2A. 

79 P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3590, Files 1239-504, 
-506, -507, -509, -513, -514, -532. 

80 The total consists of the 96 band members discharged after 
July 19, 1886, and the 6 who had been discharged before July 7. There 
were, of course, 12 others who had been given discharges in 1885 and an 
indeterminate number who were granted discharges at places other than 
Edmonton. The last named group, however, were hardly true members of 
the Passpasschase Band, having lived apart from the Band for several 
years. 








10 


Indian Agency was the most seriously affected by withdrawals from Treaty 
in the North West, suffering almost double the number of any other.. 8 - 
Only two bands exceeded Passpasschase's in the number of withdrawals— 
Peeaysis, or the Lac la Biche Band in the Victoria Agency, and Michel's 
Band under the jurisdiction of the Edmonton Agent. 82 But while others 
may have lost more in numbers, the Passpasschase Band was to be the 
only one which would lose its reserve as well. 83 

The discharged Metis presented many problems. One was politi¬ 
cal. Commissioner Dewdney took up the question of whether these people 
ought to be given the vote with the Prime Minister, and offered the 
kind of solution that Macdonald would appreciate. 

A man who lives in a tepee should not be considered 
a householder, unless he is a Conservative . 8 ^ 

More serious problems involved the economic future of those who had 


O -i 

x "List of Halfbreeds who have withdrawn from Treaty; June 1, 
1888," P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3587, File 1239-B. This 
official listing showed 290 withdrawals in the Edmonton Agency. There 
were 152 withdrawals in the Victoria Agency, 138 in the Prince Albert 
Agency, 49 in the Peace Hills Agency and 48 at Touchwood Hills. All 
other agencies had less than 30 withdrawals. 

82 Ibid. The figures were Peeaysis Band (Lac la 3iche) 93 with¬ 
drawals; Michel's Band 71 withdrawals; Passpasschase Band 61 with¬ 
drawals. (These figures referred only to those eligible to receive 
scrip—that is, those born before July 15, 1870. The figure of 102 
persons discharged from the Passpasschase Band quoted above included 
not only those eligible to receive scrip, but also their dependents 
who were too young to participate in the grant.) 

83 The Peeaysis Band had never had a reserve. Michel's Band did 
not surrender any of its land until 1903. 

8i+ E. Dewdney to Sir John A. Macdonald, November 4, 1886, 

P.A.C., Macdonald Papers, Vol. 213, No. 90882-90883. 











103 


withdrawn. After the 1885 scrip issue Dewdney had tried to assist the 
former Indians by directing the Indian Agents to lend them such imple¬ 
ments and materials as could help them reestablish themselves as self- 
sufficient Metis. 85 In 1886, Dewdney also agreed to let the recent 
withdrawals remain on their former reserves long enough to harvest that 
year's crops. 86 

As might have been foreseen, those who had taken scrip returned 
to the Passpasschase Reserve and refused to leave. Some even partici- 

o n 

pated in the killing of government cattle. In February, 1887 Agent 
Anderson called on the Department for advice as to how they should be 
evicted, 88 and was instructed to treat the discharged Indians as tres¬ 
passers under the Indian Act, and to call upon the North West Mounted 

8 8 

Police to remove them, if they would not go of their own accord. 
Nevertheless, when Assistant Indian Commissioner Hayter Reed visited 
Edmonton in August of 1887, they were still in residence on the Pass¬ 
passchase Reserve and evidently making preparations for another winter. 
When Reed informed them they would have to move, they demanded compen¬ 
sation for their houses. They flatly denied having signed any deciar- 

85 Indian Commissioner to Indian Agent, Edmonton, January 12, 
1886, P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3595, File 1239-12. 

86 Hayter Reed to Superintendent General, July 26, 1886, P.A.C., 
Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3724, File 24,303-2A. 

87 "Local," Edmonton Bulletin , September 13, 1886, p. 1. 

88 W. Anderson to the Indian Commissioner, February 28, 1887, 
P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3595, File 1239-12. 

33 Hayter Reed to Indian Agent, Edmonton, March 12, 1887, and 
L. Vankoughnet to E. Dewdney, April 16, 1387, P.A.C., Indian Affairs 
Records, Vol. 3595, File 1239-12. 








ation agreeing to abandon all their improvements and property on the 
reserve without compensation«. The Assistant Commissioner then summoned 
the Indian Agency clerk and interpreter to confront Passpasschase and 
the others who had withdrawn from Treaty with him. Upon being faced 
with these witnesses, the former chief and his followers had to admit 
they had signed such a statement. The Assistant Commissioner reported 
that the discharged Metis "were not the least abashed," at being caught 
out in this fashion, 90 and next declared that they had not intended 
that the declaration they had signed should have conveyed the meaning 
which its language implied. 91 

The real problem does not appear to have been any genuine mis¬ 
understanding of the terms of their discharge from Treaty, but rather 
a financial difficulty. The people concerned had spent all of the pro¬ 
ceeds from the sale of their scrip, and now had no means to start life 
anew. Reed refused' to pay any compensation, but did allow Passpass¬ 
chase and the other scrip takers to move their houses off the reserve. 
As the Treaty members of the band agreed to abandon the reserve at this 
time, the position of the discharged Metis became much less tenable, 

Q 9 

and they left without causing further difficulty. ■ 

In later years, the fears of those who had opposed the granting 
of scrip to adherents of the Treaty seem to have been amply justified. 
In contrast to those who had received their sci:ip in 1885, those who 


90 Hayter Reed to the Indian Commissioner, August 22, 1887, 
P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3786, File 42,010. 

9 ~Hayter Reed to the Indian Commissioner, August 18, 1887, 
P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3786, File 42,010. 

92 


Ibid. 








105 


participated in the 1886 grant received about seventy-five percent of 
the face value of their scrip, in cash, from the speculators. 35 Some 
were doubtless swindled, 3t+ but Passpasschase and his brothers seem to 
have been astute enough to avoid too great a loss from that cause. 
Nevertheless, in the carnival-like atmosphere, the money dwindled away 
rapidly. By the winter of 1887-1888, many of those who had withdrawn 
from Treaty had to be rationed by the North West Mounted Police to 
prevent their starvation, and this action had to be repeated the foll¬ 
owing winter. 35 Many of those who had been discharged in 1885 and 1886 
were eventually re-admitted into the Indian Treaty, on the condition 
that they repay the face value of their scrip from the annuities they 
would otherwise have been entitled to. 96 Those who were not re-admitted 


93see "Scrip," Edmonton Bulletin , July 10, 1886, p. 4; "Local," 
ibid ., July 17, 1886, p. 4; "Local," ibid ., July 24, 1886, p. 1. In 
1885 the price had dipped to as low as $0.40 on the dollar. By pur¬ 
chasing at $0.75 on the dollar and upwards, the speculator was not 
making as large a profit as it might seem. The speculator could rarely 
apply the scrip to land himself, because Dominion Lands for sale pri¬ 
marily consisted of pre-emption lands which only a homesteader on an 
adjacent quarter-section could purchase. The scrip therefore had to be 
sold to an established settler at a price under its face value, (say 
$0.90 or $0.95 on the dollar), or there would be no incentive for the 
settler to purchase it. 

-^Such swindles were, no doubt, more regularly conducted by 
local "friends" of the Metis, who often handled the scrip transactions 
for them ("Scrip," Edmonton Bulletin , July 10, 1886, p. 4), than by the 
speculators among whom competition appears to have been very keen. 

3 5"Rations," Edmonton Bulletin , March 24, 1888, p. 4; "Local," 
ibid ., April 7, 1888, p. 4; "Local," ibid ., January 5, 1889, p. 1; and 
"Local," ibid ., January 26, 1889, p. 1. 

3e Hayter Reed to Superintendent General of Indian Affairs, 

June 29, 1887; Lawrence Vankoughnet to Edgar Dewdney, July 11, 1887; 
Edgar Dewdney to Superintendent General, August 18, 1887; and Bobtail 
et al., agreement on terms of readmission to Treaty, August 10, 1887. 
All in P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3724, File 24,303-3. 

Wm. C. de Baiinhard to the Indian Commissioner, December 3, 1888, 















appear to have lived in perpetual hard times for the rest of their 


lives. In 1891, Father Albert Lacombe described them: 

These miserable beggars will never be able to 
support themselves when away from treaty. They will 
be as they are now, pitching about, hanging round new 
settlements, begging or working a little once [in] a 
while for whites, the squaws washing and men cutting 
wood, besides . . . [being] continually exposed to the 
most ruinous demoralisation. . . . You will see, in 
[a] few years, the government will be obliged to take 
back in [to] the reserves all these free indians. 97 

But the government did not feel obliged to take back the majority of 

these people, although Father Lacombe had scarcely exaggerated their 

condition. Its only assistance to them was the grant, in 1900, of 

another scrip issue to those of their children born between 1870 and 

1885. 


Although the granting of half-breed scrip was clearly a most 
doubtful means of aiding the Metis of Canada's North West, it did have 
the advantage of extinguishing the Metis share in the aboriginal title 
at little cost to the Canadian taxpayer. Furthermore, it had been a 
programme for which the Metis had previously long agitated. While few 
if any, Metis were again allowed out of Treaty in order to receive 
scrip after the 1885 grant had run its course, Half-Breed Scrip Comm¬ 
issions, and the inevitable speculators, attended the signings of 


and Hayter Reed to Agent, Edmonton, 10 January, 1889, both in P.A.C., 
Indian Affairs Records, Voi. 3595, File 1239-12. 

9/Father A. Lacombe to Hayter Reed, February 9, 1891, P.A.C., 
Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3591, File 1239-715. See also Bishop 
Grandin's description of the condition of these people in V, Grandin 
to the Minister of the Interior, August 5, 1899, P.A.C., Indian Affair 
Records, Vol. 3953, File 135,540-1. 








107 


Treaties Eight to Eleven and seduced many who might otherwise have 
entered the Treaty with the lure of hard cash. 

Chief Passpasschase and those who had followed him out of 
Treaty seem to have done somewhat better than others similarly sit¬ 
uated. Some of them were commended by the Bulletin early in 1888 for 
having supported themselves up to that date." A few seem to have 
followed their former fellow band members to the Stony Plain Reserve, 
and, surreptitiously shared in the rations given to their friends in 
Treaty there." None appears to have been re-admitted to Treaty. 
Eventually, most of them migrated to the North East, into the region 
near Lac la Biche, Beaver Lake, and Kikino, where many of their 
descendants can be found today. 


"untitled item, Edmonton Bulleti n, April 7, 1888, p. 1. 

"Names of discharged members of Passpasschase's Band show up 
periodically in the Parish Register of the then St. John the Baptist 
Roman Catholic Church, on the Stony Plain Reserve, in the late 1880's. 
See also, many such reports in P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 
3770, File 33,711 passim. 









CHAPTER IV 


THE SURRENDER 


There is now no reason why this reserve 
should net be thrown open to settlement 
at an early date. 

— Edmonton Bulletin , July 24, 1886. 


108 







109 



Public Arc lily es. of Canada,, Indian Affairs. Records, yol. 3768, 
File 42,010. (Shaded areas indicate land sold at the auction 
sales of 1891 and 1893.) 





































































110 


The withdrawal from Treaty of Chief Passpasschase and the 
majority of his followers was entirely unexpected, and officials of 
the Department of Indian Affairs were quite unprepared to deal with 
the consequences. In addition to the problems he had with those who 
had been granted scrip and refused to be evicted from their homes on 
the reserve, Indian Agent Anderson was faced with the sullen and unco- 
operative attitude of the remnant of the Passpasschase Band. The 
Indians who had been refused discharges from Treaty were indignant, 
and demonstrated their displeasure by killing a heifer that had been 
loaned to the band, 1 and by wandering about, ostentatiously refusing 
to return to their reserve until winter had set in. 2 When the annuity 
payments were made on September 30, 1886, the Agent experienced some 
difficulty in inducing an angry few to accept their money.^ Instead 
of simplifying the administration of the Passpasschase Band, the 
granting of Metis status to its troublesome leaders only magnified the 
problems faced by Indian Affairs officials, and created more resentment 
on all sides. 

But, to the white residents of the town of Edmonton in general, 
and to the editor of the Edmonton Bulletin in particular, the disint¬ 
egration of the Indian band presented a splendid opportunity to renew 
the campaign against the location of its reserve. No sooner had Ins- 


ln Local," Edmonton Bulletin , September 18, 1886, p. 1. 

2 "Local, Edmonton Bulletin , August 7, 1886, p. 1. The school 
on the Passpasschase Reserve, recently opened by the Catholic Church, 
had to be closed for this reason. W. Anderson to the Superintendent 
General, November 23, 1886, P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3763, 
File 32,476-2. 

3"Local," Edirionton Bullet.1.r. , October 2, 1886, p. 4. D.I.N.A., 













pector Wadsworth commenced granting discharges to Chief Passpasschase 
and his family, than the newspaper triumphantly announced the fact, and 
emphatically proclaimed that there was no longer any reason why the 
reserve should not be thrown open to settlement.^ Two weeks later, it 
returned to the theme, expressing the opinion that: 

In the case of the Two Hills band south of Edmonton and 
Michel's band at the west end of Big Lake, where the 
majority have taken scrip it would be in the public interest 
to remove the Indians who remain in the treaty to other 
reserves, and by throwing these reserves open to settlement 
at once allow those who have taken scrip, and who generally 
have made the most improvements, to remain on their places 
and enter them as homesteads. There is no object of public 
benefit to be attained by turning out the men who have made 
the improvements and handing over the result of their labor 
to those who were too lazy to do anything for themselves, 
and to hold the whole of these reserves closed to settlement 
although the number of Indians upon them has been so greatly 
reduced; while if they are thrown open there is no reason 
why the men who made the improvements should not hold the 
claims they are on as homesteads. The Edmonton and St. 

Albert settlements are each deeply interested in one or the 
other of these reserves. Both bands were notoriously chiefly 
half-breeds and should never have been admitted to the 
treaty, the reserves were located close to and partly 
including previous settlement, they have been a drawback to 
both settlements, and now when the opportunity occurs by 
which they may at once be thrown open and the more indus¬ 
trious of their occupants benefitted thereby, it is to be 
hoped that the government will for once take a commonsense 
view of the case and by throwing open these reserves confer 
a double benefit. * * * 5 


Annuity Paysheets for 1886 - Passpasschase Band. Eighty-two people 

were paid as members of the band. 

^"Local," Edmonton Bulletin , July 24, 1886, p. 4. 

5 "Treaty vs. Scrip," Edmonton Bulletin , August 7, 1886, p. 2. 













Such views were not to be found in the press alone. During the ensuing 
winter, both the Conservative and the Liberal candidates for Alberta's 
first seat in the House of Commons made the throwing open of Indian 
reserves near towns a plank in their respective election platforms. 6 

Local agitation against the Passpasschase Reserve had not in¬ 
fluenced the Department of Indian Affairs in the past, and there was 
little probability that it would ever pay any heed to the views of such 
a chronic critic as the Edmonton Bulletin . But, when officials of the 
Canadian Government suggested that reserves should be opened up for 
settlement, Indian Affairs was compelled to take notice. As the Edmon¬ 
ton newspaper had indicated, half of the membership of Michel's Band, 
situated immediately to the west of St. Albert, had withdrawn from 
Treaty in 1885 in order to accept scrip. This event did not escape 
the attention of the Department of the Interior, which was responsible 
for the administration of Dominion Lands in the North West. Officials 
of that department promptly demanded a proportional share of Michel's 
Reserve equal to the percentage of the band that had been granted half- 
breed scrip; 7 Interior's argument was simply that the recently dis¬ 
charged Metis had previously received compensation for their aboriginal 
claims in reserve lands; they had then received compensation once more 
for the same claims in the form of scrip, which would ultimately be 

6 D. W. Davis, "To the Electors of the Provincial District of 
Alberta," January 28, 1887, in Edmonton Bulletin , February 12, 1887, 
p. 1. Dr. J. D. Lafferty, "To the Electors of the District of Alberta," 
February 13, 1887, in Edmonton Bulletin , February 26, 1887, p. 1. 

7 W. T. R. Street to the Deputy Minister of the Interior, 

June 29, 1885, P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3707, File 
19,229-2. 











paid for out of Dominion Lands. The department contended that it 
was quite improper to compensate these individuals twice. It 
was pointed out that Michel's Reserve was forty square miles 
in area, but that since the Half-Breed Commission had done 
its work, the population had plummetted to less than one 
hundred persons—not enough to justify twenty square miles 
under the terms of Treaty Six. * * 3 * * 

The Deputy Superintendent General of Indian Affairs, Lawrence 

Vankoughnet, was willing to listen to the- Department of the Interior's 

argument, but was inclined to think that the Indians should be treated 

more generously. In presenting the question to Sir John A. Macdonald, 

in January of 1886, Vankoughnet declared: 

. . . considering the immense tracts of country they have 
surrendered for a comparatively trifling consideration it 
would not be too' much to allow them to retain the whole 
of the land given to them as Reserves when the Treaties 
were made on the understanding that the surplus land 
should be surrendered by them and sold and the proceeds 
thereof invested for their benefit . 9 

The Deputy Superintendent General's suggestion did not directly answer 

the question raised by the Department of the Interior, but it did seem 

designed to meet the objections against large blocks of land being 

withheld from productive use by a very few Indians. 


3 Ibid . L. Vankoughnet memorandum to Sir John A. .Macdonald, 
January 22, 1886, P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3729, File 

26,137. Of course the argument that the size of a reserve should be 
reduced because of a decline in population was not justified by the 
wording of the Treaty, or of the Indian Act . 

3 L. Vankoughnet to Sir John A. Macdonald, January 22, 1886, 

P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3729, File 26,137. Emphasis 

added. 






















reaction to this proposal was much more 


The Prime Minister's 10 
favourable than Vankoughnet could have anticipated. In the sale of 
"surplus" lands, Macdonald saw not just the means to quiet an incon¬ 
sequential agitation in a small western settlement, but also a possible 
escape from the substantial financial burden that the administration 
of Indian Affairs had imposed upon the Federal Government. He reasoned 
that by selling the lands and funding the proceeds for the benefit of 
the band, a source of capital would be established from which the needs 
of the Indians could be supplied. "In this way the Public Treasury 
would be pro tanto relieved, from the Cost of any articles furnished as 
benefits Conferred Beyond the Treaty obligations." 11 Clearly, Mac¬ 
donald envisaged that Vankoughnet's suggestion should be applied to 
other reserves besides Michel's, and, indeed, even to those that had 
not been affected by the operations of the Half-Breed Scrip Commission. 
In the week following the Prime Minister's decision, Indian Commissioner 
Edgar Dewdney was ordered to allot to each individual Indian on every 
reserve the land he would likely require for cultivation, so that the 
amount of surplus land, available for surrender and sale, could be 
ascertained. Dewdney replied that he was attempting to locate indi- 

10 Macdonald also held the position of Superintendent General 
of Indian Affairs. 

^L. Vankoughnet to Sir John A. Macdonald, January 22, 1886— 
Marginal notation by J. A. Macdonald, January 23, 1836, P.A.C., Indian 
Affairs Records, Vol. 3729, File 26,137. 

12 L. Vankoughnet to E. Dewdney, January 28, 1886, P.A.C., Indian 
Affairs Records, Vol. 3729, File 26,137. 










vidual families on separate plots of land on the various reserves, but 
chat the process would, necessarily, be a long one.-* *- 3 By the Commis¬ 
sioner's reckoning, the date at which reserve lands could be declared 
surplus was many years away. 

Macdonald's suggestion was received very coolly in another 
quarter. It was perhaps realized that the great majority of Indian 
bands would not consider any of their lands to be "surplus," nor be 
willing to part with them for the mere purpose of reducing the budget 
of the Department of Indian Affairs. Vankoughnet wrote the Deputy 
Minister of Justice to ask whether reserve lands, occupied by a band 
which had lost a portion of its population because some of its members 
had elected to take half-breed scrip, might be sold for the benefit of 
the remnant of the band without a surrender. The answer was un¬ 

equivocal. Under the terms of the Indian Act, the Deputy Minister of 
Justice declared, "it will be necessary to procure the formal surrender 
of the lands before they can be sold."*-’ Upon the receipt of this 
legal opinion, the enthusiasm in the Department of Indian Affairs for 
the sale of "surplus" lands, quickly dissipated. Michel's Band was 
not asked to make a substantial surrender until 1903. 16 Even if it 
had been implemented, however, the scheme had no prospect of success. 

*°E. Dewdney to the Superintendent General, February 4, 1886, 
P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3729, File 26,137. 

*^L. Vankoughnet to Geo. W. Burbridge, February 3, 1886, 

P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3729, File 26,137. 

* J Geo. W. Burbridge to the Deputy Superintendent General, 

March 10, 1886, P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3729, File 26,137. 

* 3 For details of this and a subsequent surrender in 1906, see 
P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 6667, File 110A-4-1, passim . An 







116 


As the Department of the Interior was to point out, there was an abund¬ 
ance of free homestead land still available in the North West Terri¬ 
tories. Under such conditions, there was little probability that 
Indian reserve lands could command the prices necessary to realize 
Macdonald's goal. Nevertheless, it is noteworthy that the policy of 
promoting land surrenders that was to be implemented by Frank Oliver 
after 1905, had been considered by Sir John A. Macdonald two decades 
earlier. 

While the Department of Indian Affairs may have considered that 
the matter of "surplus" reserve lands was closed, the Department of the 
Interior believed otherwise. As we have seen, the large exodus from 
the Michel Band in 1885 was followed by an equally large withdrawal 
from the Passpasschase Band in 1886. William Pearce, a Superintendent 
in the Dominion Lands Branch, seized upon this example to make the case 
for his department once more. He, like the Edmonton Bulleti n, suggested 
that the remaining members of the Passpasschase Band, who had been 
prevented from withdrawing from Treaty, should be amalgamated with 
another band in the Edmonton Agency, and their reserve should be thrown 
open for settlement. Again, following the Bulletin 's lead, he declared 
that if this were done, the discharged Metis could enter for their 
former farms as homesteads. In a significant, if unintentional, 
comment on the utter bankruptcy of the Metis scrip programme, Pearce 


attempt was made to take a small surrender during the 1890's. On that 
occasion, however, the issue was not one of "surplus" lands, but 
rather a dispute involving a squatter who had occupied a small parcel 
on the reserve since approximately 1880, the year in which the reserve 
was surveyed. See P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vcl. 3707, File 
19,229-2 passim. 













further alleged that if the recipients of scrip were not permitted to 
follow his suggestion they would have little hope of surviving the 
winter without charitable assistance. Hardly a month had passed since 
the Half-Breed Commission had begun to issue the scrip certificates at 
Edmonton, and it was already apparent that all the money that the 
former Indians had received would soon be gone. To bolster his argu¬ 
ment, the Superintendent of Dominion Lands declared that if the houses, 
cultivated land, and other improvements made by the former members of 
the Passpasschase Band were not maintained, the farms would quickly 
grow up in weeds, and the improvements fall into disrepair, becoming a 
liability rather than an asset to future use. To those who would 
recommend the sale of the land, he pointed out that such a course would 
be impractical, since there were plenty of vacant sections open for 
homestead entry in the vicinity, which could be taken up by intending 
settlers at a nominal cost. 17 

The Secretary of the Department of the Interior gladly passed 
Pearce's views on to the Deputy Superintendent General of Indian 
Affairs. 18 When this provoked no immediate response, the Deputy 
Minister of the Interior, A. M. Burgess, wrote to reiterate his depart¬ 
ment's arguments, and added that if the land were not soon disposed of, 
it would likely be occupied by squatters. 19 Vankoughnet would only 

17 Wm. Pearce to H. H. Smith, August 26, 1886, P.A.C., Interior 
Records, Vol. 409, File 105,940. 

18 John R. Hall to L. Vankoughnet, October 5, 1886, P.A.C., 
Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3729, File 26,137. 

1<3 A. M. Burgess to L. Vankoughnet, March 4, 1887, P.A.C., 

Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3729, File 26,137. 







118 


reply that the land could not be alienated without the consent of the 
Passpasschase Band. 20 Indian Affairs was determined to manage the dis¬ 
position of the Passpasschase Reserve without interference from any 
other department. 

In view of the apparent decision not to pursue the surrender 
of lands from Michel's Reserve, it is probable that the Passpasschase 
Reserve would have survived at least until the election of the Laurier 
Government in 1896, had not the Department of Indian Affairs received 
an initiative which purported to originate from the Indians themselves. 
On December 30, 1886, Indian Agent Anderson reported that the remnant 
of the band had asked to be permitted to join the followers of Chief 
Enoch Lapotac on the Stony Plain Reserve. The alleged reason for this 
unusual request was that there were too few able-bodied men left in 
Treaty to farm their large reserve to any advantage. The Agent also 
reported that the members of Enoch's Band had requested certain farm 
implements, all of which, not coincidently, happened to be in the poss¬ 
ession of the much depleted Passpasschase Band. Presumably in order to 
obtain these implements, the residents of the Stony Plain Reserve had 
supposedly requested that the Passpasschase remnant be amalgamated into 
their band. Anderson strongly urged that the government agree to these 
petitions. 21 

20 L. Vankoughnet. to A. M. Burgess, March 12, 1887, P.A.C., 
Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3729, File 26,137. 

21 W. Anderson to the Indian Commissioner, December 30, 1886, 
P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3773, File 36,440. 








119 


The authenticity, or, at the very least, the spontaneity of 
these requests may be seriously questioned. The Agent claimed that 
they had been made at the time of the annuity payments at the end of 
September. Yet he did not bother to communicate them to his superiors 
until late December, fully three months later. Furthermore, Anderson's 
suggestion for the disposition of the land was identical to that of 
the Edmonton Bulletin and of William Pearce—the land should be thrown 
open for settlement, and the discharged members of the band allowed to 
take up their former farms as homesteads. In making this proposal 
the Agent was not simply echoing the common feelings of the white 
population of Edmonton, nor was he stirred by any charitable impulse 
towards those who had squandered the proceeds of their scrip. Chief 
Passpasschase, his brothers, and the others who had withdrawn from 
Treaty had not left their homes, and, if the reserve was to retain its 
official status, it would be Anderson's task to evict them. -He made it 
quite apparent that he had no desire for a confrontation with Tahkocts 
'The Murderer', and others of that ilk, over such an issue. ° 

In spite of the obvious personal stake which Anderson had in 
the amalgamation scheme, there was some truth in the reasons advanced 
for it. Few men were left in the band after the issue of half-breed 
scrip. At the time of the 1886 annuity payments, there had only been 
ten adult males out of a total population of eighty-two, and some of 

22 Ibid. 

23 


Ibid. 













those were doubtless old or infirm. It would be many years before a 
group of that size could begin to use even a significant portion of the 
agricultural potential of their forty square mile tract. And there was 
little doubt that the remnant could be readily absorbed into Enoch’s 
Band. Many of the followers of Chief Enoch had been associated with 
the Passpasschase Band in the years preceding the Rebellion, and, 
conversely, many of Passpasschase’s people had resided on the Stony 
Plain Reserve for longer or shorter periods in the past. 

But the previous close intermingling of the two bands was one 
of the factors which detracted from the credibility of the supposed 
request to amalgamate with Enoch's Band. If the Treaty remnant of 
Passpasschase's Band had truly desired to move to Stony Plain, they 
would simply have left and taken up residence beside Enoch’s people, 
without asking the permission of the Agent. This was what had happened 
in the past, and although the Department of Indian Affairs was opposed 
to such migrations, it had previously been unable to prevent them. 25 


2 Vi .N.A., Annuity Paysheets for 1886 - Passpasschase Band. 

25 Anyone who has examined the Annuity Paysheets for the period 
between 1876 and 1890 will be forced to agree that Indian families 
moved from band to band with ease, in spite of a definite prohibition 
against such transfers. The most dramatic case concerns the Cumberland 
Band of Fort a la Corne. In the face of an absolute refusal by the 
Department of Indian Affairs to countenance a transfer by a substantial 
number of Indians from Cumberland House to the James Smith Band at 
Fort a la Corne, the Indians moved, and the Department was eventually 
compelled to establish a separate reserve for them adjacent to James 
Smith’s. See P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3555, File 10, 
passim . In the case of Enoch's Band, the great majority of its 1886 
membership had, at one time or another, been considered to be members 
of other bands, including a large number who had formerly resided on 

the Passpasschase Reserve. D.I.N.A., Annuity Paysheets for 1880 to 

1886 - Enoch (or Tommy) Lapotac 2 * * 5 s Band. 









Only a handful had taken this course between the dates of the 
annuity payments, in 1885 and 1386.The remainder of the band was to 
prove reluctant to move in the spring of 1887, and while Agent Ander¬ 
son continued to refer to the band's "request" to be transferred, 27 
most others, including Inspector Wadsworth, and the Edmonton Bulletin , 
spoke of efforts to "induce" the Indians to move. 2 ® 

Nevertheless, when Assistant Indian Commissioner Hayter Reed 
reviewed the alleged appeal by the remnant of the Passpasschase Band 
to be permitted to move to the Stony Plain Reserve, he apparently 
regarded the request as genuine, and passed it on to the Superintendent 
General in Ottawa. The Assistant Commissioner expressed his opinion 
that such an amalgamation of the two bands would be in the best 
interests of all the Indians concerned, but warned that the people of 
Edmonton would certainly expect the Passpasschase Reserve to be thrown 

O Q 

open for settlement as soon as it was abandoned. The Deputy Super- 


2 ^The families of the Pound, and Youkooiskass, and an orphan 
girl named Bella, (five persons in all), transferred from the Pass¬ 
passchase to Enoch's Band between the 1885 and the 1886 annuity pay¬ 
ments, without the formal consent of the Department. D.I.N.A., Annuity 
Paysheets for 1886 - Enoch's Band. 

o 7 

W. Anderson, report to the Superintendent General, [June 30], 
1887, Canada, Sessional Papers for 1888 , Vol. XXI, (No. 15), p. 104. 

28 

T. P. Wadsworth to the Superintendent General, October 20, 
1887, Canada, Sessional Papers for 1888 , Vol. XXI, (No. 15), p. 143. 
"Local," Edmonton Bulletin , April 23, 1887, p. 1. 

2 'Hayter Reed to the Superintendent General, January 15, 1887, 
P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3773, File 36,440. 












122 


intendent General of Indian Affairs 33 displayed little concern about 
the probable reaction of the citizens of Edmonton, and offered no 
objection to the union of the two Indian groups. What he did insist 
upon, was that before the remnant of the Passpasschase Band left the 
reserve, they be required to formally surrender their land to the 
Crown, so that it could be sold for their benefit. Vankoughnet was 
also more skeptical of the authenticity of the alleged request for an 
amalgamation than Reed had been. In a carefully worded letter to the 
Indian Commissioner, the Deputy Superintendent General explicitly 
directed that "Passpasschase's Band should not be removed from their 
Reserve except with their consent." 31 In view of the general feeling 
in the town of Edmonton, this warning against coercive measures was 
timely. 

For people who had asked permission to move to a new location, 
the Treaty Indians resident on the Passpasschase Reserve seemed un¬ 
usually reluctant to leave their homes. Apparently, Commissioner 
Dewdney did not pass Vankoughnet 1 s instructions on to Anderson, who 
renewed his efforts to promote an amalgamation in the spring of 1887. 
The Edmonton Bulletin reported that one influential member of the Pass¬ 
passchase remnant who had previously agreed with the Indian Agent to 
try to persuade his friends to remove to the Stony Plain Reserve on 

o n 

u '■'Vankoughnet answered most of the mail addressed to the 
Superintendent General, and made decisions on all but the most 
important matters. 

31 L. Vankoughnet to E. Dewdney, January 24, 1887, P.A.C., 

Indian Affairs Records, Voi. 3773, File 36,440. On the draft of this 
letter, Vankoughnet had begun to write that "Passpasschase Band should 
not be allowed to leave," and then had struck out the last three words 
and replaced them with "removed from." 








123 


the hope of being elected Chief of the united bands, had reassessed 
his political prospects curing the winter, and decided to oppose any 
move. 32 The authenticity of this report is somewhat suspect, 33 but, 
for whatever reason, Anderson's efforts were not successful. 

But what the local Indian Agent was not able to accomplish, 
the Assistant Indian Commissioner did with little difficulty. Hayter 
Reed visited the Edmonton Agency in August of 1887, and met with both 
the current members of the Passpasschase Band, and those who had with¬ 
drawn from Treaty in the previous year. He saw his major task as the 
eviction of the former Indians, who, in spite of their previous pro¬ 
mises, had not left their homes. 34 It is said that an influenza epi¬ 
demic had visited the people on the reserve just prior to Reed's 
arrival, 35 and this had put them in an agreeable frame of mind. The 


32 "Local,'’ Edmonton Bulletin , April 23, 1887, p. 1. 

33 It is true that Enoch Lapotac had resigned his post as Chief 
of Enoch's Band in the autumn of 1886, and the vacancy had not been 
filled. However, Agent Anderson had recommended that no one be 
appointed to fill the vacancy, and Assistant Commissioner Reed had 
heartily endorsed Anderson's view. Officials of the Department of 
Indian Affairs had adopted the policy of discouraging the election of 
chiefs, whom they regarded as a negative influence on the progress of 
the Indians. (W. Anderson to the Indian Commissioner, December 30, 

1886 and Hayter Reed to the Superintendent General, January 15, 1887, 
both in P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3773, File 36,440.) It 
is, however, quite possible that a member of the Passpasschase Band, 
unaware of Anderson's recommendation, and of the Department's general 
policy, could have calculated upon being elected to the chieftainship 
without any encouragement from the Indian Agent. 

34 Hayter Reed to the Indian Commissioner, August 18, 1887, and 
same to same, August 22, 1887, both in P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, 
Vol. 3786, File 42,010. 

q r 

0w, This story was related to me informally by some of the mem¬ 
bers of Enoch's Band (notably Lawrence Morin) in 1973. They had been 
told this by "Big Louis,” (Louis Mary Ann on the Annuity Paysheets), 
now deceased, who had lived on the Passpasschase Reserve as a young man. 








124 


Assistant Commissioner gave no details of what means he used to effect 
the removal, but they do not seem to have been coercive. 36 He merely 
reported that "the Indians of Pahpastoo's band—that is, those who were 
living on the Reserve—agreed with me to leave the Reserve and join 
Enoch's band." 37 No attempt was made to follow Vankoughnet 1 s ins¬ 
tructions and obtain a surrender of the Passpasschase Reserve before 
it was abandoned. With the discharged Metis still residing on the 
reserve, and intermingling with the Treaty Indians, any attempt to take 
such a surrender would almost certainly have failed. The Assistant 
Commissioner doubtless regarded his primary task to be the eviction of 
the discharged Metis from the reserve. By persuading the remnant of 
the band to move to Stony Plain, Reed placed himself in a stronger 
position in his dealings with the former chief and the others who had 
received scrip, and, as we have seen, was able to effect their depart¬ 
ure. Reed likely considered his failure to obtain the consent of the 
Passpasschase remnant to the sale of their reserve to be of little 
consequence. He had not been given the necessary formal authorization 
to take a surrender, and it would have been several days before a 


O C 

° The Edmonton Bulletin reported that one man refused to leave 
the reserve, and stayed behind after the others had left. Yet Reed 
expressed no concern about this indivudual, nor did he recommend any 
measures to get him to leave. The Indian does not seem to have 
remained on the reserve for long after his neighbours had left, but the 
Assistant Commissioner's lack of concern does not suggest that he was 
prepared to coerce the Indians into abandoning the reserve. "Local," 
Edmonton Bulletin , August 13, 18S7, p. 1. 

37 Hayter Reed to the Indian Commissioner, August 22, 1887, 
P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3786, File 42,010. 







125 


letter of authority and the regular surrender forms would reach him, 
had he suggested it. Undoubtedly, the Assistant Commissioner believed 
that there would be little difficulty in attending to the formalities 
at a later date. But there were factors which he did not consider, 
which would complicate the problem, from both a legal and a practical 
viewpoint. 

The remaining members of the Passpasschase Band abandoned their 
reserve on August 12, 1887, and journeyed to the Stony Plain Reserve, 
just three or four miles away, across the North Saskatchewan River. 

Most remained there, but a.few drifted away to join other bands, and 
became more difficult to locate as time passed. Two months after the 
move, the Treaty annuity payments were made at the Edmonton Agency. 
Since the Passpasschase Indians were no longer residing on their 
reserve, they were not treated as a separate entity. Rather, they 
were paid as members of the bands on whose reserves they happened to 
be residing. As the individual families were given their per capita 

a p 

Treaty payments and assigned new Treaty numbers with other bands, 
the entity of the "Passpasschase Band" vanished from the annuity pay¬ 
sheets of one Department of Indian Affairs. The implications of this 
action were not considered, but the Indian Act had defined a "band" 
as: 

. . . any tribe, band or body of Indians who own or 
are interested in a reserve or in Indian lands in 
common, of which the legal title is vested in the 

3 ®In order to prevent any Indian family from receiving 
annuities twice in a given year, each was given a ticket, with its 
band name, and an individual family number on it. The head of the 
family would have to present this ticket annually before receiving 
his annuities, and the fact that the money had been paid would be 















126 


Crown, or who share alike in the distribution of any 

annuities or interest moneys for which the Government 

q o 

of Canada is responsible. . . . 

Of course, it could not be argued that the Passpasschase Band had been 
eradicated as a legal entity by the simple action of placing the names 
of its members on the annuity paysheets of other bands. What was 
brought into question, however, was the certitude of just which indi¬ 
viduals were members of the Passpasschase Band, and which were not. 

The composition of the Passpasschase Band had always been relatively 
unstable. Families had been continually entering and leaving the band 
since it had adhered to Treaty a decade earlier. As long as its people 
were living on their reserve, and receiving their annual Treaty pay¬ 
ments as a distinct unit, there was no difficulty in ascertaining who 
the members of the band were. But, after the fall of 1887, there was 
no one living on the reserve, and no group being paid annuities in 
common for the band. There were, thus, no grounds upon which one could 
assert that the people w T ho had moved to the Stony Plain Reserve in 
August of 1887 had any more right to be considered members of the 
Passpasschase Band than those who had wandered away and joined other 
bands in previous years. The number of people who might claim a right 
to be consulted about a surrender and to share in the proceeds of the 
sale of the land was thus expanded enormously. The Department of 
Indian Affairs, however, does not seem to have ever considered the 
implications of its actions in this regard. 


noted beside the family's name and number on the annuity paysheets. 

35 Canada, The Indian Act (1886) , 49 Vic., Cap, 43, Sec. 2. 















127 


In fact, there was to be very little consideration of any of 
the aspects of the Passpasschase Reserve surrender. Quite evidently, 
officials of the Department of Indian Affairs considered the matter to 
be an insignificant formality, and their actions displayed this care¬ 
less attitude. A week after Hayter Reed had reported that the reserve 
had been abandoned, the Deputy Superintendent General had authorized 
Commissioner Dewdney to take a formal surrender. 4 *^ Since the Com¬ 
missioner did not find it convenient to attend to the matter, he dele¬ 
gated the task to the new Indian Agent at Edmonton, Major William 
Carnegie de Balinhard. 41 This procedure was considered improper under 
the terms of the Indian Act , and Vankoughnet was compelled to issue a 
separate authorization and new instructions to de Balinhard. The 
Edmonton Agent was told to 

Cause a meeting of the voting members of the said 
Papastayo's Band to be convened in accordance with 
the usual custom for calling such meeting, at such 
time and place as may to you seem most convenient, 
and bring before them for consideration, the question 
of surrendering the land within the said Reserve to be 
disposed of for their benefit. . . . 

Should a majority of the voting members of the 
Papastayc’s Band be in favour of the surrender of the 


4 ^L. Vankoughnet to E. Dewdney, August 29, 1887, P.A.C., Indian 
Affairs Records, Vol. 3786, File 42,010. 

41 De Balinhard, an old Army officer from England, had formerly 
served as Agent on the Sarcee Reserve near Calgary. Anderson had been 
taken seriously ill, and de Balinhard who was transferred north for 
temporary duty, was eventually called on to stay. Anderson was very 
slow to recover, and was finally transferred to Regina, where he was 
given an office job. See P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3733, 
File 26,743; Vol. 3712, File 20,523; and Vol. 3746, File 29,628-1 for 
the personnel files of these two officials. For Dewdney's actions in 
delegating de Balinhard to take the surrender, see E. Dewdney to 
W. C. de Balinhard, September 20, 1887, P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, 
Vol. 3582, File 1023*. 










same on the above terms, you may take a formal 
surrender thereof from them. 42 

These instructions must have caused some confusion in de Balinhard's 
mind. It is rather unlikely that there was any "usual custom" for 
the calling of meetings of the Passpasschase Band, and, if there was, 
it is even less likely that the new Agent would be aware of it. Fur¬ 
thermore, by the time these instructions were received, the annuity 
payments had been made, 43 and the question of just who ought to be 
considered a member of the band had been greatly complicated. 

But the uncertainty that de Balinhard may have felt over these 
issues could hardly justify his delay in attending to the matter. The 
instructions, issued on September 30, 1887, were not acted upon until 
November 19, 1888, and the completed surrender was not forwarded to 
Ottawa until August 30, 1889. 44 The Agent explained the delay by 
claiming that the men of the band could not be found. On November 15, 
1887, he declared that there were only two adult males from the Pass¬ 
passchase Band left on the Stony Plain Reserve, and that one of those 
was away on a hunt. 45 Yet, less than six weeks earlier he had paid 
annuities to ten men with Enoch’s Band who had just abandoned the Pass 

42 L. Vankoughnet to W. C. de Balinhard, September 30, 1887, 
P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3786, File 42,010. 

43 Enoch's Band was paid its annuities on October 3, 1837. 
D.I.N.A., Annuity Paysheets for 1887 - Enoch’s Band. 

44 A. S. Forget to the Deputy Superintendent General, August 30 
1889, P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3582, File 10231. 

45 W. C. de Balinhard to the Indian Commissioner, November 15, 
1887, P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3582, File 10231. 







passchase Reserve in August. 46 In March of 3.888, he revised his 
accounting of the number of Passpasschase's people living with Enoch's 
Band to three men, but still insisted that a greater number were to be 
found at the Bear's Hills Indian Agency, or at other locations unknown, 
and that it would be quite impossible to arrange a proper meeting of 
the voting membership of the band. 47 Assistant Indian Commissioner 
Hayter Reed replied to this by pointing out that the Indian Act only 
required adult males living "on or near" their reserve to be consulted, 
and implied that the men living at Bear's Hills or more distant loca¬ 
tions did not have a right, to participate in the surrender proceedings. 48 
The Edmonton Agent took no hint from this suggestion, however, and did 
not attempt to call the Passpasschase people together to discuss the 
matter, even when he personally paid annuities to eight of the 1886 

- 4 Q 

Passpasschase Band members on October 1 and 2, 1888. 3 


^b.i.n.A., Annuity Paysheets for 1887 - Enoch's Band. In 
addition to these, de Balinhard had paid annuities to another man now 
residing on Alexander's Reserve, who had been listed with the Passpass¬ 
chase Band at the 1886 annuity payments. He had also paid annuities to 
a great number of others who had left the Passpasschase Band and moved 
to Stony Plain in the years prior to 1887. 

^ 7 W. C. de Balinhard to the Indian Commissioner, March 30, 1888, 
P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3582, File 1023-|. 

48 Hayter Reed to W. C. de Balinhard, April 23, 1888, P.A.C., 
Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3582, File 1023K It is worthy of note, 
however, that on other occasions the Department of Indian Affairs was 
to affirm the right of Indians living at a much greater distance from 
their former reserve to participate in a surrender meeting. An example 
was.the Sharphead Reserve, near the present site of Ponoka, which was 
surrendered by former band members living at Lake Wabamun in 18S7. 

See P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records y Vol. 3S12, File 111,777 passi m. 

48 D.I.N.A., Annuity Paysheets for 1883 - Enoch's and Alexander's 


Bands. 








130 


De Balinhard's real reason for lack of action was more likely 
concerned with other serious problems he was facing as a new Agent 
than with any difficulty in physically locating a proper representation 
of the adult males. The winter of 1887-1888 was a moderately severe 
one. Game was more scarce than usual, and the weather was cold. What 
was of greater consequence, the bad weather and a series of accidents 
delayed the arrival of the Department of Indian Affairs' supplies at 
Edmonton. Rations were very short, and the Indians were hungry— 
starving, some said. The hardships were increased by the surrepti¬ 
tious feeding of those who had been discharged from Treaty by those 
Indians receiving rations from the government. The worst of the 
suffering was over by the end of January when the overdue provisions 
began to arrive and the ration issues were somewhat increased. 

But while the actual hunger diminished, the political con¬ 
sequences of it increased. The Edmonton Bulletin , ever anxious to dis¬ 
credit the Conservative administration, began to publish articles on 
starving Indians in February of 1888. The stories were quickly re¬ 
printed by Liberal newspapers across the country, and conditions in 
the Edmonton Indian Agency became a national scandal. The Indians, 
naturally indignant on account of the privations they had been forced 
to endure, found themselves possessed of a public audience for the 
first time. They were anxious to establish than they had a right to 
be fed when in want, and commenced to kill their band cattle when their 
demands were not quickly met. Exaggerations and misleading statements 
were engaged in by both Indians and the Opposition press, and these 
were gleefully seized upon and exposed by government officials and 
their partisans in the fourth estate who denied that there were any 






While the Indians on the Stony 


grounds for complaint, whatsoever. 5 ^ 

Plain Reserve were only peripherally involved in the "starvation" 
controversy, there was an undercurrent to it, of which they were at 
the very centre. This was the attempt by the local Roman Catholic 
clergy to have Agent de Balinhard dismissed, and replaced by a man 
of their faith. 

The Catholics had long been dissatisfied with the government's 
administration of Indian Affairs in the Edmonton region—often with 
good reason. They had been disturbed by examples of Agent William 
Anderson's incompetence and mean-spiritedness in his relations with the 
Indians, and frequently asked that he be removed. 5 * Moreover, they 
were convinced that he possessed anti-Catholic biases, and favoured the 
Protestant denominations in the conduct of the Agency's affairs. While 
they were never able to show that any of Anderson's actions had dis¬ 
criminated against them, it would appear that the Agent did have strong 


5 ^For details of this "starvation" controversy see P.A.C., 
Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3749, File 46,205 passim and many items 
in the Edmonton Bulletin , including "Indians," February 4, 1888, p. 3; 
untitled item, February 18, 1888, p. 2; "Indians," February 25, 1888, 
p. 3; "Hungry Indians," March 10, 1888, p. 4; untitled item, March 18, 
1888, p. 1; "Rations," March 24, 1888, p. 4; "Victoria," March 31, 1888 
p. 4; untitled item, April 7, 1888, p. 1; untitled item, April 28, 1888 
p. 3; "Those Indians" and "The Edmonton Indians," May 5, 1888, pp. 2 
and 3 respectively. Also, several items in the "Local" column in 
February, March, and April, 1888. 

5i See P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3673, File 10,986 
passim , and L. Vankoughnet to Sir John A. Macdonald, January 19, 1886, 
P.A.C., Macdonald Papers, Vol. 213, No. 90524-90531. But Dewdney in¬ 
sisted that Anderson was only unpopular because he was careful in 
following his instructions and never did things on his own responsi¬ 
bility. The Commissioner thought it would be most unfair to reprimand 
him. See E. Dewdney to Sir John A. Macdonald, February 14, 1886, 
P.A.C., Macdonald Papers, Vol. 213, No. 90515-90520. 














132 


personal prejudices against the Catholic Church. 52 Such prejudices, 
even when they had no discernible effect on the interests of the 
Catholics, were certain to be general knowledge in a small community 
like Edmonton, and to cause a much greater sense of grievance than was 
justified by the facts. 

The bitterness reached a climax when the Presbyterian Church 
opened a school and mission on the Stony Plain Reserve in late 1885. 

The Catholics, who had claimed that the members of Enoch's Band were 
all baptized adherents of their denomination, were very alarmed, and 
commenced to build their own School and mission in an attempt to 
counteract the influence of their sectarian rivals. An outpouring of 
charges and countercharges followed, with each denomination accusing 
the other of deception, bribery, and intimidation of the Indians. The 
accusations possessed some credibility, for the statements of both 
sides were subscribed to by many of the same Indians. Anderson was 
charged with favouring the Presbyterians. 52 

Anderson's successor, de Balinhard, as a Protestant fell heir 
to the great volume of bitterness that the Roman Catholic clergy had 
built up against his predecessor. While there appears to have been 
little or no reason for supposing that the new agent was guilty of preju- 

5 9 

^See, for example, the charges of Thomas Risdale in P.A.C., 
Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3788, File 43,943. While Anderson seems 
to have acted quite properly in firing Risdale, the Agent did not 
bother to deny that he had made the statements against the Catholic 
Church of which he had been accused. 

53 P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3773, File 35,457 

passim. 















dices directed particularly against the Church of Rome 


54 


the Catholic 


clergy had been anticipating that a man of their faith would t»e 
appointed, and were disheartened when this did not come to pass. The 
individual who had been nominated as Anderson's successor by Bishop 
Grandin and the Oblate Order, Samuel Cunningham, 55 was the one who first 
brought the hungry state of the Edmonton Agency Indians to the attention 
of the Edmonton Bulletin 56 and there were many hints thrown out by 
certain of the Catholic priests and their adherents that the replace¬ 
ment of de Balinhard with a Catholic Agent would put a quick end to 
the charges of starvation among the Edmonton Indians. ' 

The Catholic hierarchy may not have had as much control over 
the complaints of hungry Indians as either itself or government offi¬ 
cials wished to believe, but, a second effort to outmanoeuvre the Pres¬ 
byterians on the school question was more completely under their guid¬ 
ance. This was the attempt to build an idyllic Catholic Indian colony 


5 ^William Carnegie de Balinhard does not appear to have been a 
particularly religious man. On his personnel form he described himself 
as merely "Protestant," rather than as the adherent of any particular 
denomination. It is unlikely that a man of that time who cared very 
deeply about religion would not have been a member of one particular 
denomination or another. See William C. de Balinhard, personal infor¬ 
mation form, February 15, 1885, P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 
3712, File 20,523. 

55 See L. Vankoughnet to Sir John A. Macdonald, January 18, 1886, 
P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 1089 (Letterbook), pp. 353-355. 

5 ®See "Indians," Edmonton Bulletin , February 4, 1888, p. 3. 

57 H. S. Young to [?], February 25, 1888; Hayter Reed to 
E. Dewdney, March 9, 1888; Hayter Reed, telegram to E. Dewdney, 

March 5, 1888; all in P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3794, File 
46,205. Hayter Reed to E. Dewdney, April 6, 1888, P.A.C., Macdonald 
Papers, Vol. 327, No. 147882-147889. 










on Alexander's Reserve at Riviere Qui Barre. The somewhat naive 
vision of a peaceful and contented Indian community, governed by the 
clergy, and isolated from the evil and destructive aspects of Western 
Civilization, had antecedents as distant as the Indian reserves estab¬ 
lished in Quebec under the old regime, on which Bishop Grandin's scheme 
was perhaps modelled. There had been, and were to be, several other 
attempts to establish similar colonies throughout the North West. 59 In 
all cases, a large group of Indians was to be gathered together on one 
reserve. They would be completely isolated from any white man not 
approved of by the clergy, and from such temptations as liquor. The 
children would be educated from a young age, and their elders taught to 
farm. The Department of Indian Affairs would be expected to pay the 
costs of such an experiment, at least until it became self-supporting, 
but its local officers would be subordinate to the Catholic clergy in 
its operation. Within a generation, it was hoped, the Indian residents 
of the community would be transformed into civilized and Christian 
people, and a shining witness to the power of the Catholic faith. 59 

However appealing certain aspects of such a colony might 
appear, government officials were generally very sceptical about these 
schemes. Besides the political impossibility of placing government 

53 Supra , pp. 11-13. An example of a similar project contem¬ 
poraneous with Grandin's, was the attempt to establish a colony at Pine 
Creek on Lake Winnipegcsis; in P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 
3574, File 197 p assim . Other examples were Father Lacombe 1 s attempt 
to establish a Metis colony at St. Paul, and the File Hills Colony on 
the Peepeekeesis Reserve of the File Hills Agency in Saskatchewan. 

5 9 P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3574, File 197 passim , 
and other material re the Pine Creek Colony. 













135 


officials under the direction of ecclesiastical authorities, there 
were practical arguments against the proposals. In the first place, 
the congregation of a great many Indians in one place, and regulations 
which would prevent them from travelling to distant locations where 
contact might be made with evil influences, would, in combination, soon 
result in the extinction of all game in the vicinity of the colony, and 
greatly increase the expenditure of the Department of Indian Affairs on 
rations of food and clothing. Furthermore, there was little likelihood 
that the chiefs, headmen, and members of the different bands would live 
in harmony with each other> particularly when they were of different 
tribes and spoke different languages. On these grounds, government 
officials usually opposed Catholic proposals for large Indian colo- 
nies. 60 

In April of 1888, suggestions began to be heard that Alex¬ 
ander's, Alexis's, and Enoch's, (including the remnant of Passpass- 
chase's) Bands ought to be amalgamated, and the latter two moved to 
Alexander's Reserve at Riviere Qui Barre. Alexander, who stood to 
become chief of this new large band, first broached the idea vaguely 
to Assistant Commissioner Reed in early April while that official was 
investigating the charges of starvation. 61 Shortly thereafter, on 
April 19, Mahminawatow, accompanied by several other members of Enoch’s 
Eand, presented Agent de Balinhara with a list of seventeen heads of 

6Q Ibid . 

6l Hayter Reed to the Indian Commissioner, April 5, 1888, 

P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3796, File 47,249. 









136 


families resident on the Stony Plain Reserve, who, it was said, wished 
to leave their then homes and move no Alexander's or Michel's Reserve. 
The list was signed by Rev. Father C. Tissier, the Oblate priest on 
the reserve, and contained the names of two men who had just moved from 
the Passpasschase Reserve. 62 The Agent doubted that half of those 
whose names were on the list would actually go, but that all who were 
refused permission would feel aggrieved. He therefore urged the Dep¬ 
artment of Indian Affairs to give its leave to those who wished to 
depart. 66 His superiors, on the other hand, had had experiences with 
the division of Indian bands in the past, and refused to sanction any 
such movement. 64 Bishop Grandin then made a direct appeal to Hayter 
Reed, recently appointed Indian Commissioner, for permission to unite 
Alexander's, Enoch's, and Alexis's people at Riviere Qui Barre, where 
a substantial Catholic colony could be established. Reed suspected 
that the motive behind this proposal was simply to remove the members 
of Enoch's Band from the influence of the Presbyterian school and 
mission, and recommended against it. 65 The Deputy Superintendent 

62 Nabesis [Napasis] and Mikwen [Antoine]. These two later 
signed the Passpasschase surrender. For the list see C„ Tissier, "List 
of men who want to leave Stony Plain . . n.d. [April, 1S88], in 

P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3770, File 33,711. 

63 W. C. de Balinhard to the Indian Commissioner, April 19, 

1888, P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3770, File 33,711. 

o 4 E. Dewdney to the Superintendent General, May 4, 1888; and 
L. Vankoughnet*s marginal notes thereon, May 8, 1888, P.A.C., Indian 
Affairs Records, Vol. 3770, File 33,711. 

65 Hayuer Reed to the Superintendent General, October 27, 1888, 
P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3806, File 52,332. 








General of Indian Affairs, Lawrence Vankoughnet, took a similar view. 66 
Nevertheless, efforts to induce the Indians of these bands to support 
such a proposal continued to have an unsettling effect for some time. 87 

With these controversies swirling around him, it is not sur¬ 
prising that Major de Balinhard found little time to deal with the 
surrender of the Passpasschase Reserve. But such other pressures can 
only partially explain the many irregularities in the surrender that 
was obtained. On November 15, 1888, Indian Agency Inspector Timothy P. 
Wadsworth arrived in Edmonton to begin his annual tour of the local 
Agency. 68 Although the Agent had not taken advantage of the excellent 
opportunity to consult with the former residents of the Passpasschase 
Reserve afforded by the 1888 annuity payments, just six weeks earlier, 
Wadsworth's visit apparently brought the matter of the disposition of 
the land forcefully to de Balinhard’s attention. Within four days of 
the Inspector's arrival, a surrender had been taken. 

The surrender instrument that was signed on November 19, 1888, 
gave evidence of great carelessness and haste. The forms which had 
been transmitted to de Balinhard in September of 1887, had apparently 


88 L. Vankoughnet, memorandum to E. Dewdney, November 12, 1888, 
P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3806, File 52,332. 

67 In January, 1889 Chief Alexis told the Agent that Alexander 
and one Father Blanchette had threatened that the government would cut 
off all rations to them if they did not move to Riviere Qui Barre. 

Chief Alexis retorted that his band would not move, and was not always 
dependent on the government's rations, as was Alexander's. The claim 
that the government would terminate rations if the band would not move 
was, of course, a falsehood. W. C. de Balinhard to the Indian Com¬ 
missioner, January 31, 1889, P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3770, 
File 33,711. 

88 "Local," Edmonton Bulletin, November 17, 1888, p. 1„ 










138 


been drafted for use in the more settled regions of Eastern Canada. 
Alterations would have been necessary no make them applicable to the 
special circumstances of the Passpasschase surrender. The blanks were 
filled by Joseph V. Kildahl, a local lawyer whose business was so slow 

that he was compelled to seek temporary employment as the storeman at 
6 9 

the Indian Agency, and many of the necessary changes were not made. 

Know all Men by these Presents, 

THAT WE, the undersigned Principal men of 
Passpasschase Band of Indians No. 136 7 ^ 
resident on our Reserve near Edmonton 
in the Province of Alberta. . . . 71 

the document began, although the members of the band had not been resi¬ 
dent on their reserve for more than fifteen months, and "Province of 
Alberta" was an entity more than sixteen years in the future. It went 
on to declare that the Passpasschase Reserve was being surrendered to 
the Crown, in trust, to be disposed of to "such person or persons and 
upon such terms as the Government of the Dominion of Canada may deem 
most conducive to our welfare, and that of our people." 72 The pro- 


c q 

The handwriting for the insertions is that of Kildahl. The 
Passpasschase Band, Surrender Instrument, November 19, 1888, a document 
in the possession of the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs, 

Land Registry Office, Ottawa. For Kildahl's position in the Edmonton 
Indian Agency, see Canada, Parliament, "Report of the Auditor General 
for the Year Ending June 30, 1889," in Canada, Sessional Papers for 
1890 , Vol. XXIII (No. 5), p. E-135. 

7 0 

No. 136 was an arbitrary number that had been given to the 
band and its reserve in the early 1880's. It had no significance 
other than as a handy means of identification. 

7 -^Passpasschase Band, Surrender Instrument, November 19, 1888. 

72 Ibid. 







ceeds from the "sale or lease" of the land were to be funded, and the 
interest was to be paid annually or semi-annually to the members of the 
Passpasschase Band. 73 What was not included in this enumeration of 
conditions was the position of Enoch's Band, which had allowed the Pass¬ 
passchase people to share in the Stony Plain Reserve lands. As early 
as April of 1887, the Department of Indian Affairs had decided that the 
membership of Enoch's Band should be allowed to benefit from the pro¬ 
ceeds of the sale of the Passpasschase Reserve. 74 Agent de Balinhard 
had been explicitly instructed to explain this matter to the former 
members of the Passpasschase Band. J Yet the surrender instrument made 
no mention of this very significant provision, nor did it indicate that 
the Treaty membership of the old Passpasschase Band would be amalgamated 
with Enoch's Band, as had been intended. Not until January 24, 1894, 
fully five years after the surrender, was an agreement signed by two 
representatives of the Passpasschase Band and four of Enoch's, which 
sanctioned the union of the two bands, and the application of the entire 
proceeds from the sale of the Passpasschase Reserve to the funds of the 
enlarged Enoch's Band. 7b Other, less significant, conditions were also 

73 Ibid. 

74 E. Dewdney to the Superintendent General, April 9, 1887; 

L. Vankoughnet to E. Dewdney, April 22, 1887; both in P.A.C., Indian 
Affairs Records, Vol. 3773, File 36,440. 

7 ^E. Dewdney to the Indian Agent, Edmonton, September 20, 1887, 
P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3582, File 1023-K L. Vankoughnet 
to W..C. de Balinhard, September 30, 1887, P.A.C., Indian Affairs 
Records, Vol. 3786, File 42,010. 

/b Wm. Ward et al ., agreement, January 24, 1894, P.A.C., Indian 
Affairs Records, Vol. 3582, File 1023^. The legal effect of this 
agreement is unclear. There was no provision in the Indian Act for 
such an amalgamation of bands. 






140 


omitted from the terms of the surrender instrument. 77 

The most objectionable part of the whole proceeding, however, 
was that so few of the members of the Passpasschase Band were consulted. 
Only three men were invited to consider the important matter. It is 
said that one of the three, Napasis, objected to the surrender and 
favoured the retention of the Passpasschase Reserve until such time as 
his band's population had revived sufficiently to make use of the land 
once again; de Balinhard is alleged to have replied that such a small 
number of Indians would not be permitted to keep such a large block of 
land idle. When the question was presented to them in this way, 
Napasis, and his two colleagues, Antoine, and James Stoney, each 
marked his "X" on the surrender instrument and gave assent to the 


7 7 

When the surrender instrument was signed, the three signa¬ 
tories asked for, and were promised, lumber and shingles to assist 
them in building new houses on the Stony Plain Reserve. The cost of 
purchasing these materials, which was estimated at approximately 
$114.00, was to be recouped from the proceeds of the sale of the Pass¬ 
passchase Reserve, yet no mention was made of this provision in the 
terms of the surrender, and the promise may not have been fulfilled. 

No expenditure for building materials was made from the funds of Enoch's 
Band until 1900-1901. A. E. Forget to the Deputy Superintendent 
General, August 30, 1889, P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3786, 

File 42,010; Passpasschase Band Surrender Instrument, November 19, 1888; 
Canada, Sessional Papers for 1901 , Vol. XXXIV (No. 1), p. J-129. It is 
possible, however, that the requested building materials were supplied, 
but that the Department of Indian Affairs never took the trouble to 
recoup the amount expended from the Capital Funds of Enoch's Band. The 
oldest living member of Enoch's Band has told me that the government 
did assist the members of the Passpasschase Band to build new houses 
on the Stony Plain Reserve. Kenneth J. Tyler, taped interview with Jim 
Lapotac, November 22, 1972, (in Cree), in the possession of Enoch's 
Band, Winterburn, Alberta. 

7 fl 

Kenneth J. Tyler, personal and informal interview with Jim 
Lapotac at the Enoch's Band Office, October, 1973. 





141 


alienation of forty square miles of valuable land. 78 

But there were many others who had an equal right with these 
three to be consulted on the disposition of the surrendered land. Even 
if one were to believe that only those adult males who would have been 
considered members of the Passpasschase Band in September of 1886 were 
eligible voters, there were at least twelve other persons who had an 
equally good claim to decide on the question of the surrender as the 
three who signed the instrument. Of these twelve, five had recently- 
received their annuities from Agent de Balinhard, and three others had 
been paid by Agent Lucas at Peace Hills, and could have been located 
by the authorities with very little difficulty. 80 De Balinhard excused 
himself by claiming that the three who signed were the only men of the 
band then remaining and located on the Stony Plain Reserve. 81 Even 
were this true, which is doubtful, it should hardly have mattered that 
some of the eligible voters were residing in one place, and others at 
different locations scarcely farther away from the reserve in question. 
The Department, however, appears to have considered the surrender 
merely a pro forma matter, and took no notice of any irregularities or 
inconsistencies in its wording or in the manner in which it was 
achieved. 

Having obtained his three signatures. Agent de Balinhard was 

7 9 

Passpasschase Band, Surrender Instrument, November 19, 1888. 

80 D.I.N.A., Annuity Paysheets for 1886, 1887, and 1888 - Pass¬ 
passchase, Enoch*s, Alexander’s, Sampson’s, and Ermineskin's Bands. 

81 See A. E. Forget to the Deputy Superintendent General, 

August 30, 1889, P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3786, File 
42,010 and draft of same letter in Vol. 3582, File 1023t. 













142 


compelled to wait until May 22, 1889 before he could take Napasis 
before Justice Rouleau of the Supreme Court of the North West Terri¬ 
tories to undertake the second step in the surrender procedure—the 
swearing of an affidavit by himself and Napasis, as the principal man 
of the Passpasschase Band, to the effect that the surrender was taken 
in accordance with the terms of the Indian Act . 82 The documents were 
then forwarded to Ottawa where they were accepted by Order in Council 
on October 12, 1889. The object of the surrender was said to be "to 
admit of the land comprised in the Reserve being sold by the Depart¬ 
ment for the benefit of the Indians owning the same." 83 

While the intention to sell the land was clear, the task proved 
somewhat more difficult of accomplishment than was believed. The land 
was re-subdivided by Surveyor John C. Nelson in October of 1890, and 
each quarter section was evaluated at $3.00 per acre as an upset price. 
In spite of the many earlier protests to the effect that the land of 
the Passpasschase Reserve was needed by better men, it proved exceed¬ 
ingly difficult to sell. Two auction sales, held at Calgary and Edmcn- 


ft 2 

Actually it could be argued that the affidavit is not in 
accord with the Indian Act, as it merely affirms that the surrender 
was approved by a majority of the adult males at the meeting called to 
consider it, and the best interpretation of the relevant clause of the 
Indian Act would appear to require the assent of a majority of the 
adult males of the band. W. C. de Salinhard and Napasis, deposition 
sworn before Charles Rouleau, May 22, 1889, P.A.C., Privy Council 
Records, Series 1, P.C. 2329/1899, (October 12, 1889.) 

o3 Canada, Privy Council, Order in Council, October 12, 1889, 
P.A.C., Privy Council Records, Series 1, P.C. 2329/1389. 










ton in 1891 and 1893 respectively, were dismal failures. 84 The land 
was then placed in the hands of the Dominion Lands Agent at Edmonton 
for sale to individual settlers at the surveyor's valuation. Commencing 
on January 1, 1894, sales were made to settlers arriving in Edmonton 
for prices ranging from $3.50 to $4.00 per acre. By 1902 all of the 
land had been sold, 85 most of it to a number of Moravian immigrants 
under the guidance of a Rev. Clement Hoyler. 88 A few of the sales were 
not completed until 1930, but the majority of the purchasers had 
received their patents by 1908. 87 Enoch's Band received a total of 


84 Charges were made that a swindle was being perpetrated in 
connection with the 1891 auction. Edgar Dewdney, the then Superin¬ 
tendent General of Indian Affairs, replied rather lamely to such accu¬ 
sations in the House of Commons a few days before the sale was to take 
place. But bungling and a poor demand for the land seems to have been 
responsible for the poor results. Only three sections of the forty 
square miles were sold, and seeing that the small attendance of buyers 
were all speculators, Indian Commissioner Hayter Reed stopped the sale 
on the grounds that the prices being achieved were too low. In 1893 
only a little ever five sections were disposed of, and a great effort 
was made to prevent speculators from purchasing. If Dewdney or anyone 
else was attempting to rig the sale of the reserve in their own inter¬ 
est, it is quite apparent that they failed. See Canada, Debates of 
the House of Commons , 1891 Session, columns 1403-1406, and P.A.C., 

Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3786, File 42010-2B passim . 

85 See J. D. McLean to D. P. Keogh, Strathcona, December 19, 

1902, in D.I.N.A., File 774/36-2, in the possession of the Department 
of Indian and Northern Affairs, Ottawa. 

88 Arthur S. Morton, A History of Prairie Settlement , (Toronto: 
Macmillan, 1938), p. 98. Rev. Morris W. Leibert, "Bruederfeld and 
Bruederheim. Moravian Settlements of German Russians in Alberta, 
Canada,” - pamphlet, (Bethlehem, Pennsylvania: 1896) and P.A.C., Indian 
Affairs Records, Vol. 3786, File 42010 and 42010-2B and Vol. 6668, 

File 110A-5-1 and 110A-5-2. The latter four files give extensive 
information on the sale of the Passpasschase lands. 

O “7 

0/ D.I.N.A., "Reserve Land Sales Register," - Sales Book No. 2 
in the possession of rhe Department of Indian and Northern Affairs, 
Ottawa. 








144 


$98,701.44 from the sale of the reserve, or $3.87 per acre. 88 

While this money was placed to the credit of Enoch's Band, the 
Indians received very little personal benefit therefrom. The clause 
of the surrender promising annual or semi-annual distributions of 
interest does not appear to have been honoured, and by the late 1890's 
former members of the Passpasschase Band began to complain that they 

O Q 

had received nothing from the sale of their old reserve. 3 


Q O 

Ibid.. This figure excludes the amount received in interest 
from the purchasers and the small amounts received from the sale of 
haying rights on the unsold lands. See D.I.N.A., File 774/32-1-2, in 
the possession of the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs, 
Ottawa. 


89 Frank Oliver to Clifford Sifton, June 27, 1897; and James 
Stoney, statement to A. McDonald, August 28, 1897; both in P.A.C., 
Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 7542, File 29110-6. 







CHAPTER V 


A HARBINGER 


At the present time the former reserve 
on the South side is producing many thousands 
of bushels of grain, thereby adding to the wealth 
of the country, all of which would not have been 
had the land yet remained in the hands of the 
Indians, who would have simply led an idle life 
and produced nothing but bills which the Indian 
Department would have to pay.-*- 

—Frank Oliver, July 28, 1897. 


145 





146 


The tract of land surveyed for the use and benefit of the Pass- 
passchase Band was the first Indian reserve in the Canadian North West 
to be surrendered and sold. It was not to be the last. During the 
course of the succeeding forty years, the entire reserves of a dozen 
other Indian bands in the three prairie provinces were permanently 
alienated. * 2 More than forty others were greatly reduced in area by 
the surrender process. 3 Yet, like many precedents, the Passpasschase 
surrender was not intended as the first step of a well-considered 
programme. It is true that the Superintendent General of Indian Affairs 
and his Deputy had flirted briefly with a comprehensive policy of 
reserve land surrenders, to be particularly directed towards bands 
which had experienced a significant number of withdrawals from Treaty. 
But such ideas were soon rejected, and Michel's Band, which had prompted 
consideration of the policy, kept its 'surplus' lands until 1903. 


iFrank Oliver to Clifford Sifton, July 28, 1897, P.A.C., 

Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 7542, File 29110-6. 

2 These were the Sharphead and Bobtail Reserves in Alberta, the 
Chekastapasin, Ocean Man, Pheasant's Rump, Swan Lake (7A), Little Bone, 
Thunderchild, and Moosomin Reserves in Saskatchewan, and the Gambler, 
Turtle Mountain, and St. Peter's Reserves in Manitoba. In some of these 
cases the old reserves were completely sold, and new reserves, located 
in less desirable locations, farther from white settlement, were pur¬ 
chased by the bands at a lower price than they had received for their 
former lands. In another instance, that of the Young Chipewayan 
Reserve, no surrender was taken, and the land was alienated without 
compensation. Canada, Department of Indian and Northern Affairs, Land 
Registry Office, "Reserve General Register" for each of the reserves 
named. In addition to these twelve there were other reserves that were 
completely surrendered in exchange for other lands elsewhere, but for 
which no financial compensation was paid. 

O _ 

These included surrenders from the Stony Plain, Michel, 
Alexander, Sampson, Louis Bull, Peigan, Wabamun, Blackfoot, Stoney, 
Sarcee, Pigeon Lake, Saddle Lake, Duncan, Hc-rse Lakes, Swan River, and 
Driftpile Reserves in Alberta, the Cumberland House, Cumberland (100A), 




147 


Nor was the Passpasschase surrender the result of a policy 
urged upon the Department of Indian Affairs from another quarter. 

While Alberta politicians and the townspeople of Edmonton had loudly 
proclaimed that Indian reserves should be removed from the vicinity of 
growing white settlements, Indian Affairs did not adopt that view. For 
six years it successfully ignored pressure from the people of Edmonton 
directed against the continued location of the Passpasschase Reserve 
to the south of their settlement, and no move was made to relocate 
other reserves near growing centres of white population until after 
1896. 4 High officials of .the Indian Department paid little more heed 
to the Department of the Interior’s representations that in cases 
where reserve lands had been set aside for Indians who had subsequently 


Cote, Grizzly Bear's Head and Lean Man, Assiniboine, Pasquah, Kahke- 
wistahaw, Cowessess, Fishing Lake, Key, Keeseekoose, Muscowpetung, 
Mistawasis, Muskowequan, Meadow Lake, Big River, Muskeg Lake, Poor Man, 
Ochapowace, Piapot, Last Mountain Lake, and Little Black Bear Reserves 
in Saskatchewan, and the Roseau River and Swan Lake Reserves in Mani¬ 
toba. D.I.N.A., Land Registry Office, "Reserve General Register" for 
each of the reserves named. 

^in 1886 there had been pressure to relocate the Crooked Lakes 
Reserves in order to increase the distance between them and the town 
of Eroadview, Assin.iboia. The Indians we re not approached for a 
surrender, however, because the Indian Agent expressed doubts about the 
scheme. Tyler, "History of the Cowessess Band," pp. 88-91. Following 
the 1896 election, efforts to relocate these reserves were renewed, and 
ultimately surrenders of the portion of these reserves nearest the 
main line of the C.P.R., were taken; ibid ., pp. 93-118. Attempts, 
successful and otherwise, were made to obtain the surrenders of other 
reserves near settlements after 1896, For a discussion of some of 
these efforts in Southern Saskatchewan, see Stewart Raby, "Indian Land 
Surrenders in Southern Saskatchewan," in Canadian Geographer , Vol. XVII 
(1973), No. 1, pp. 36-52. The most controversial surrender designed to 
remove Indians from the vicinity of white settlement was probably that 
of the St. Peter's Reserve near Selkirk, Manitoba, in 1907. P.A.C., 

Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3617 to 3620, File 4646 to 4646-X. 




















148 


received half-breed scrip, such lands should be made available for 
settlement as ordinary Dominion Lands. When it was alienated, the 
Passpasschase Reserve was sold in individual quarter sections and was 
not thrown open for homestead entry, nor utilized to fulfil land grant 
commitments to Canadian railroads. 

The Passpasschase surrender was not then the result of any 
policy for reserve land surrenders. Rather, it was the reaction to a 
unique set of circumstances. The entire membership of the band had 
desired to withdraw from Treaty and accept half-breed scrip, a majority 
were permitted to do so, and the Indians remaining in the band were 
those judged to be the least capable of supporting themselves. When 
the remnant allegedly appealed for permission to join Enoch's Band on 
the Stony Plain Reserve, it is hardly surprising that the Department of 
Indian Affairs should have considered it advisable to agree to the 
request. Although the desire of the Treaty members of the Passpasschase 
Band to abandon their reserve was questionable, all doubts on that score 
were overshadowed by the practical problem of evicting the former 
Indians who refused to leave their homes on the reserve. Immediate 
difficulties rather than general policy led to the successful effort to 
persuade the Treaty remnant to move to Stony Plain in August of 1887. 

Thus, the Passpasschase Reserve was abandoned, and a surrender 
was needed to regularize the proceeding. Quite apparently, officials of 
the Department of Indian Affairs in the North West considered such legal 
necessities as relatively unimportant. When compared with the problems 
of maintaining peace and of providing relief to the starving, the 
significance of such nuisances as the proper procedure for the calling 


of band meetings, the signing of documents, and the swearing of affi¬ 
davits were at a discount. This careless attitude toward legal nicetie 
was reflected in the administration of the Passpasschase Reserve lands. 
The reserve, itself, was not "confirmed" by Order in Council until .May 
of 1889, six months after the surrender instrument had been signed. 

The lands within it were not withdrawn from the operations of the 
Dominion Lands Act until June of 1893, almost four years after the 
surrender had been accepted by Order in Council. The Passpasschase 
Indians were admitted into membership in other bands before they were 
requested to consent to the sale of their reserve, greatly compli¬ 
cating the question of who had a right to participate in the surrender 
proceedings. Opportunities to consult with a representative number of 
the adult male membership of the Passpasschase Band were neglected in 
favour of a hasty meeting with a mere fraction of the population eli¬ 
gible to vote on the question of alienating their reserve. At that 
meeting, standard surrender forms, prepared for use in Eastern Canada, 
were signed without being altered to conform to the actual circum¬ 
stances of the Passpasschase Band and its reserve. Such irregularities 
stemmed from carelessness and inexperience rather than any malevolent 
attempt to rob the Indians of their land, but they have cast doubt upon 
the validity of the entire procedure. 5 

Officials of the Department of Indian Affairs were not pleased 
with the outcome of the Passpasschase surrender, and did not wish to 

5 In 1973, the Enoch's Band made a presentation to the Indian 
Claims Commissioner, Dr. Lloyd Barber, arguing that the Passpasschase 
surrender was invalid. The claim has not, as of 1978, been pursued in 
the courts, however. 









150 


have it established as a precedent for the alienation of abandoned 
reserves. Hayter Reed, the Assistant Indian Commissioner who had per¬ 
suaded the Treaty Indian remnant to abandon their reserve, was espec¬ 
ially disappointed. In 1888, Reed was promoted to the post of Indian 
Commissioner for Manitoba and the North West Territories, * 6 and, in 1893, 
he became the Deputy Superintendent General, 7 the highest ranking civil 
servant in the Department of Indian Affairs. The legal irregularities 
did not seem to concern him, 6 nor did the dissatisfaction on the part 
of the former members of the Passpasschase Band. 8 But the sale of the 
reserve lands seemed to have caused endless trouble. Reed had conducted 
the first unsuccessful auction of Passpasschase land at Calgary in 1891, 


^Canada, Secretary of State, The Civil Service List of Canada , 

1889 (Ottawa: Queen's Printer, 1890), p. 167. 

7 Canada, Secretary cf State, The Civil Service List of Canada , 
1894 (Ottawa: Queen's Printer, 1895), p. 169. 

8 Reed 1 s lack of concern for scrupulousness in following proper 
legal procedures was indicated by his reaction to a warning from 
Assistant Indian Commissioner A. E. Forget, that all surrenders taken 
by the Department of Indian Affairs since 1876 might have been invalid 
since they were only assented to by a majority of the adult male band 
members at a meeting, rather than by a majority of the total adult male 
band membership. The Department of Justice advised that the Indian Act 
should be amended to remove doubt on the question, but Reed declined to 
take action, because he did not think it to be "at all a wise proceeding 
to raise any question as to the validity of past surrenders." See 
A. E. Forget to Hayter Reed, December 29, 1893; and Hayter Reed to 
A. E. Forget, January 5, 1894; both in P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, 
Vol. 3574, File 197; and E. L, Newcombe to the Deputy Superintendent 
General of Indian Affairs, January 15, 1894, P.A.C., Justice Records, 
Series A-3, Vol. 103, pp. 424-425. 

8 Reed attempted to keep the proceeds of the sale of the Pass¬ 
passchase Reserve from the former members of the Passpasschase Band, 
and from the members of Enoch's Band who were then sharing their 
reserve with the Passpasschase people. Hayter Reed to E. L. Newcombe, 
November 28, 1894, P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3729, File 
26,137. 











and had been forced to halt the sale when it became apparent that the 
land would only sell to speculators at disappointingly low prices. 10 
The second auction sale, two years later, produced little better 
results, 11 and the land was finally disposed of in quarter sections 
through the Dominion Lands Office at Edmonton. 12 The local agent of 
the Department of the Interior refused to exert himself to administer 
the affairs of the Indian Department, 13 and the involvement of two 
government departments often resulted in bureaucratic muddles. 14 


1(1 F. H. Paget to the ■ Deputy Superintendent General of Indian 
Affairs, July 9, 1891, P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3786, 

File 42,010-2B. 

1 Barnes J. Campbell to the Commissioner, 20 April, 1893; and 
F. H. Paget to the Deputy Superintendent General, May 1, 1893; both 
in P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3786, File 42,010-2B. 

12 Canada, Privy Council, Order in Council, 26 October, 1893, 
P.A.C., Privy Council Records, Series 1, Vol. 571, P.C. 2789/1893; and 
Hayter Reed to A. M. Burgess, November 11, 1893, P.A.C., Indian Affairs 
Records, Vol. 3786, File 42010-2B. 

13 The Dominion Lands Agent at Edmonton, Thomas Anderson, made 
clear his displeasure at being asked to administer the Passpasschase 
sales, and, at one point, tried to resign the responsibility. Thomas 
Anderson to Hayter Reed, May 14, 1894, P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, 
Vol. 3786, File 42,010-2B. 

1Lf The confusion was sometimes incredible. Records were kept in 
three separate places, the earlier sales were administered in Regina, 
the later sales in Edmonton, and a separate set of records for all sales 
was kept in Ottawa (A. E. Forget to the Deputy Superintendent General of 
Indian Affairs, May 22, 1897, P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3910, 
File 109,731.) Lands were sometimes sold twice (Thomas Anderson to 
Hayter Reed, September 6, 1894; Hayter Reed to Thomas Anderson, Octo¬ 
ber 23, 1894; and Thomas Anderson to Hayter Reed, November 8, 1894; all 
in P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3911, File 111,213); people were 
sold the wrong quarter sections (R. W. Lendrum to the Agent of Dominion 
Land.4, Edmonton, September 2, 1895; R. A. Ruttan to R. W. Lendrum, 
September 9, 1895; both in P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3786, 
File 42,010-2B); money and documents were sent to the wrong places 
(A. E. Forget to Hayter Reed. December 3, 1894; Sown and Prince to the 
Secretary, Department of the Interior, December 3, 1894; both in 
P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3786, File 42,01C-2B); and the 








Hayter Reed was evidently disillusioned with these results 


and, after assuming the post of Deputy Superintendent General, vainly 
sought the means to evade the surrender provisions of the Indian Act 
in other cases where Indian reserves had been abandoned. In 1894, the 
new Deputy Minister of Justice, E. L. Newcombe, was asked to comment 
upon G. W. Burbridge 1 s 1886 legal opinion that "surplus" lands must be 
surrendered before being alienated. 15 Newcombe could find no fault in 
his predecessor's reasoning, and replied that there was "no provision 
in the law . . . under which a reserve set apart under this treaty for 
a particular band can on account of reduction for any cause of the 
original number of the band, be reduced in extent without the sanction 
of those who still continue to be members." 16 Upon the slender reed of 
the final eleven words of this pronouncement, the Deputy Superintendent 
General built a very precarious policy. 

In 1889 the Department of Indian Affairs had finally agreed to 
compromise with reality and to recognize the transfers of individual 
Indians from one band to another. A procedure for formal transfers was 
devised, and standard forms to be used in the process were drafted and 
distributed. 1 " In 1895, an amendment to the Indian Act was passed by 


Department of Interior's method of computing interest differed from 
that of Indian Affairs, causing numerous disputes (R. A. Ruttan to 
Hayter Reed, August 1, 1895, P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3786, 
File 42,010-23). 

15 Hayter Reed to E. L. Newcombe, November 28, 1894, P.A.C., 
Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3729, File 26,137. 

16 E. L. Newcombe to Hayter Reed, November 30, 1894, P.A.C., 
Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3729, File 26,137. 

1 ~P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3807, File 52,583-2 

passim;. 







Parliament which declared that "when by a majority vote of a band, or 
the council of a band, an Indian of one band is admitted into member¬ 
ship in another band, and his admission thereinto is assented to by 
the superintendent general, such Indian shall cease to have any 
interest in the lands or moneys of the band of which he was formerly a 
member, and shall be entitled to share in the lands and moneys of the 
band to which he is so admitted." 1 ® when this provision had been 
enacted, the Department of Indian Affairs began to arrange formal trans¬ 
fers for the members of the Sharphead and Chekastapasin Bands, who had 
previously abandoned their reserves near the present-day sites of 
Ponoka, Alberta, and Birch Hills, Saskatchewan, respectively. 19 The 
objective was to totally deplete the membership of the bands, and leave 
no one with a legal interest in the two reserves. When that had been 
accomplished, Reed believed that the lands could be thrown open for 
settlement without a surrender, or the payment of any compensation to 
the Indians. 

Most, but not all, of the Indians were formally transferred, but 


18 Canada, Statutes of Canada, 58-59 Vic., (1895), Cap 35, 

Sec. 8. 

19 P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3912, File 111,777-1 
passim , and Vol. 5663, File 109A-3-1 vcl. 1 passim . The same 
procedure was to be implemented on a third reserve, that of Young 
Chipewayan, but Indian Commissioner Forget declared that the people 
of that band would be too difficult to find, and no attempt was made 
to arrange transfers for them. The reserve was given to the Depart¬ 
ment of the Interior without a surrender and without compensation to 
its original owners. See P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 6663, 
Files 109A-3-1 vol. 1 and 109A-3-2 passim. 








154 


before the reserves could be conveyed to the Department of the Interior, 
the election of 1896 intervened, and, following the change of government, 
Hayter Reed was superannuated. 20 The former Deputy Superintendent 
General's scheme for evading the surrender provisions of the Indian Act 
was considered to be questionable enough to cause the new Superintendent 
General, Clifford Sifton, to refer the matter to the Justice Department 
in May of 1897. 2 * Newcombe was obviously scandalized by the interpre¬ 
tation placed upon his earlier legal opinion. He declared unequivo¬ 
cally that the Indian Act "positively forbids, subject to certain 
exceptions, which have no application to the present case, the sale, 
alienation or lease of any reserve or portion of a reserve without . . . 
[a] release or surrender." 22 The Indians whose formal transfers had 
been so carefully arranged, were then asked to consent to the surrender 
of their former reserve lands in the usual way. 23 Reed's dubious 
scheme was thus aborted. 


20 Reed was granted a leave of absence from March 1, 1897 on the 
understanding that he would be superannuated. The Treasury Board 
Minute sanctioning his retirement was not approved until June of 1897, 
however. Canada, Privy Council, Order in Council, June 30, 1897, 

P.A.C., Privy Council Records, Series 1, Vol. 736, P.C. 1880/1897. 

21 J. D. McLean, memorandum, April 14, 1897, with marginal 
notation by Clifford Sifton, P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 6663, 
File 109A-3-1 vol. 1. 

p p 

E. L. Newcombe to the Acting Secretary, Department of Indian 
Affairs, May 14, 1897, P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 6663, File 
109A-3-1 vol. I. 

9 O 

‘■''Chekastapasin Band, surrender instrument, June 23, 1897, 
P.A.C., Privy Council Records, Series 1, Vol. 740, P.C. 2135/1897, 

(July 21, 1897.) Sharphead Band, surrender instrument, September 11, 
1897, P.A.C., Privy Council Records, Series 1, Vol. 753, P.C. 3446/1897, 
(December 30, 1897.) 






The Department of Indian Affairs sought to avoid the repetition 
of its experience with the disposition of the Passpasschase Reserve, 
but was compelled to continue the practice of taking surrenders of 
abandoned Indian reserve lands by the interpretation placed on the law 
by the Department of Justice. Nevertheless, it was apparent that 
officials of the Indian Department desired to treat the Passpasschase 
surrender as an aberration rather than a precedent. But others were of 
a different mind. The people of Edmonton, and pre-eminent among them, 
Frank Oliver, were convinced that the sale of the Indian reserve situ¬ 
ated to the south of their town had been an unmixed blessing. They 
would have scoffed at the suggestion that any moral wrong had been 
done to the members of the Passpasschase Band, most of whom had been 
discharged from Treaty at their own request, and the remainder of whom 
had agreed to leave their reserve without protest. As for themselves, 
Edmontonians were doubtless greatly relieved that a group of Indians 
which had been, at the best of times a nuisance, and at the worst, a 
source of real anxiety, should have been dispersed to locations farther 
removed from their settlement. 

But it was the contrast between the use made of the reserve land 
by the Indians, and the white farmers who later purchased it, which made 
the most telling point. The few, tiny fields which Passpasschase and 
his followers had bestirred themselves to cultivate compared most un¬ 
favourably with the scores of prosperous farms which dotted the same 
land just fifteen years later. As the Edmonton Bulletin proclaimed in 
1901: 

The tract of country south of Strathcona known as 
the Indian reserve is covered with stubble fields and 








156 


grain stacks. Seven steam threshers are finding 
ample work on it this fall. It is producing many 
thousands of bushels of grain and thereby adding 
wealth to the country. Had it remained in the hands 
of the Indians it would still be a tax eating instead 
of a tax paying proposition. 214 

In the newspaper's opinion the argument which had justified the European 

occupation of the Americas as a whole—that the Indians made little or 

no use of the resources provided by their lands—applied equally to 

reserves set aside under the terms of solemn treaties. The Bulletin 

was eager to see the history of the Passpasschase Reserve repeated. 

The lesson of this reserve may very well be applied to 

the case of others similarly situated. The Indians make 

no practical use of the reserves which they hold. Where 
the land is good and well situated for market white men 

can turn it to much better account than the Indians do. 

A township in a good hunting country and near a fishing 
lake is more valuable to the Indians than a township of 
fine agricultural land near a railway station. It is a 
loss to the country to have such lands lying idle in the 
hands of the Indians when white men want to use them and 
are willing to pay for them. It is a loss to the Indian 
to compel him to remain in uncongenial surroundings to 
which he cannot adapt himself when he has the opportunity 
to remove to congenial surroundings, ar.d by the sale of 
the land ensure himself a comfortable annuity. 25 

It is said that hard cases make bad law, and it is no less true 
that unusual situations set poor examples for government policy. The 
Edmonton newspaper's view of the history of the Passpasschase Reserve 
might have been justified, but to depict such a case as typical was a 
burlesque upon the conditions of other Indian reserves in the North West. 
Few, if any, other Indian bands could boast of such a collection of un¬ 
savoury characters among their members as that of Chief Passpasschase. 


24 "Indian Reserves," Edmonton Bull etin, October 28, 1901, p. 2. 
25 Ibid. 













Few had been so willing to abandon their Indian status for the short¬ 
lived wealth to be gained by accepting half-breed scrip. In spite of 
the difficulties posed by ill-advised government policies that limited 

o c 

cultivated acreages and discouraged the use of farm machinery, and 
by the omnipresent pall of tuberculosis and other diseases which sapped 
the energies of so many, the agricultural progress on most Indian 
reserves had been far more extensive than the Bulletin indicated. Some 

2 R 

Indian farmers were claimed to be on a par with neighbouring whites, ° 

p q 

and evidence of this had been given at many agricultural exhibitions. 

It was ridiculous to assert that the Indians were "compelled" to remain 
on fine agricultural land. They had chosen their reserve sites them- 
selves, and were seldom willing to exchange them for locations else¬ 
where. Furthermore, when the "lesson" of the Passpasschase Reserve came 
to be "applied to the case of others similarly situated," many tracts 
of surrendered land were sold to speculators, and were as effectively 


26 P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3964, File 148,285 

passim . 

2?Tyler, "History of the Cowessess Band," pp. 53-55. 

E. Lake to the Superintendent General, June 30, 1893, 
Canada, Sessional Papers for 1894 , Vol. XXVII (No. 14), p. 80. Charles 
de Cazes to the Superintendent General, June 30, 1897, Canada, 

Sessional Papers for 1898 , Vol. XXXI (No. 14), p. 150. 

29 Hayter Reed to the Superintendent General, October, 1890, 
Canada, Sessional Papers for 1891 , Vol. XXIV (No. 18), pp. 134-135. 

Hayter Reed to the Superintendent General, December 1, 1891, Canada, 
Sessional Papers for 1892 , Vol. XXV (No. 14), pp. 195-196. 

^W. J. Christie, "Treaty Number Six. Indian Reserves, Carlton 
Indians - Crees of Saskatchewan," October 10, 1876, P.A.C., Indian 
Affairs Records, Vol. 3636, File 6694-1. 
















withheld from production as if the most indolent band of Indians had 
remained in possession of them. 35 

Such facts were ignored by the Edmonton Bulletin and its owner, 
Frank Oliver. Oliver had been associated with the newspaper since its 
inception, as editor, publisher, and owner, and its editorial views 
accurately reflected his own. 32 He firmly believed that government 
efforts to educate the Indians 33 and teach them to farm were utterly 
useless, and doomed to failure. 3t+ The red man could not be 'civilized,’ 
and it was foolhardy extravagance to attempt to change his ways. When 
he was named Superintendent General of Indian Affairs in 1905, Oliver 
may have found it politically impossible to amend the law so that 
Indians could be removed from their reserves without their consent, 3 ^ 


31 An examination of the "Land Sales Books" for the Prairie 
Provinces, held by the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs, shows 
that a great proportion of the surrendered Indian lands were purchased 
by land speculators residing in Eastern Canada, Winnipeg, or the United 
States, who quite evidently never attempted to farm their lands, and 
who retained possession of them for many years. D.I.N.A., Lands Branch, 
"Land Sales Books." 

32 William S. Waddell, "The Honourable Frank Oliver," M.A. 

Thesis, University of Alberta - 1950. (Edmonton: 1950.) 

33 Canada, Debates of the House of Commons , 2nd Session, 1896, 
Columns 2394-2397; 1897 Session, Vol. II, Column 4076; 1899 Session, 

Vol. Ill, Columns 7491-7493. 

31+ 0liver was quoted as telling an official of the Department of 
Indian Affairs that it was useless to try to make farmers out of Indians. 
A. W. Ponton to the Secretary, Department of Indian Affairs, July 24, 
1902, P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, Vol. 3563, File 82-15, 

o3 In 1911, Oliver did introduce legislation which allowed the 
Crown to dispose of Indian reserves without the consent of the Indians 
concerned. The amendment to the Indian Act was only applicable to 
Indian reserves within the boundaries of a city, however. Canada, 
Statutes of Canada , 1 George 5 (1911), Cap 14, Sec. 2. 











159 


but he could implement a programme of unrelieved pressure upon bands 
across the North West, to coerce them into the surrender of as much 
reserve land as possible. During his six year term of office, 
twenty-four major surrenders of reserve land were taken, 36 and many 
more were attempted. 37 Hundreds of thousands of acres of Indian lands 
were permanently alienated. Frank Oliver never doubted the justice of 
such a policy. For him and for his supporters in the rapidly expanding 
city of Edmonton, the history of the Passpasschase Reserve had proved 
a self-evident truth. 


36 These were surrenders from the Alexander, Michel, Stony Plain, 
Samson, Louis Bull, Peigan, Wabamun, and Blackfoot Reserves in Alberta, 
the Cote (3 surrenders), Pasquah, Kahkeewistahaw, Cowessess, Fishing 
Lake, Swan Lake (#7A), Little Bone, Muscowpetung, Key, Keeseekoose, 
Mistawasis and Muskowequan Reserves in Saskatchewan, and the Swan Lake 
(#7) and St. Peter's Reserves in Manitoba. D.I.N.A,, Land Registry 
Office, "Reserve General Register" for each of the reserves named. 

37 0ne of Oliver's more original ideas was to appoint the Rev. 
John McDougall, a. Methodist missionary who had the confidence of many 
of the Indians, as a special agent commissioned to take land surrenders 
from a number of Indian bands. See P.A.C., Indian Affairs Records, 

Vol. 4020, File 280,470-2. 


( 







160 


BIBLIOGRAPHICAL NOTE 

The greater part of the information upon which this thesis was 
based was found in primary sources, principally the Records of the 
Department of Indian Affairs in the Public Archives of Canada. The 
files from the period which has been examined were originally in three, 
distinct groups: Red Series (headquarters files commencing between 
1873 and 1881), Black Series (headquarters files commencing after 
December 31, 1881),. and Commissioner's Office files. The first two 
series were registry systems; that is, each piece of incoming corres¬ 
pondence was stamped with a number, and recorded consecutively in 
large registers (Red for the Red Series, Black for the Black Series). 

If the subject of the letter was new, its number became the number of 
the new file which was opened to deal with the subject. If there was 
already a file in existence to which the letter would be attached, the 
register would record the appropriate file number. Most headquarters 
files from the 1870's and 1880's are still extant, but those that 
have been lost or destroyed can be reconstructed from the brief 
descriptions of each incoming letter given in the registers together 
with the letterpress copies of all outgoing letters which have also 
been preserved in the Deputy Superintendent General's and the 
Department of Indian Affairs Letterbooks. The same cannot be said of 
the Commissioner's Office Files, most of which were destroyed when 
the Office was closed in 1909, and for which no registers or letter- 
books have survived. Since practically all communications from the 





Indian Agencies in the North West Territories between 1879 and 1897 were 
addressed to the Indian Commissioner, who only forwarded to Ottawa those 
items which he thought to be of importance or interest, the destruction 
of these files was especially regrettable. Fortunately, the files 
which were preserved were chiefly concerned with land matters, Indian 
discontent in 1884 and 1885, and the granting of North West Half-Breed 
Scrip to Treaty Indians. For all three series the original file 
numbers have been retained, unless correspondence on the subject 
continued on past 1920, when a new, coded, filing system was intro¬ 
duced. However, files from the Red Series, and the Commissioner's 
Office were combined into the Black Series, before they were transferred 
to the Public Archives of Canada, causing some confusion. The 
"Black Series" has thus come to include all files which were closed 
between 1873 and 1920 and which dealt exclusively with Western Canada. 
(The Red Series, after 1881, was reserved for files dealing with 
Ontario and Quebec, the personnel at Headquarters, or general policy 
files for the nation as a whole. Files concerning Indian admini¬ 
stration in the Maritime Provinces have been transferred from the 
Black Series to the Red, adding geographical consistency to the division 
of the headquarter files, but complicating the search for specific 
documents.) Until 1976, the only finding aids available for the 
Black and Red Series were very incomplete subject indexes, and 
researchers attempting to use the records were severely hampered. At 
present, a complete list is available, which, although still imperfect, 
provides the researcher with a much clearer guide to the records. 

With the exception of the Treaty annuity paysheets, those 




162 


records listed in the footnotes and bibliography as still in the poss¬ 
ession of the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs, have not been 
employed as a source of specific information concerning the history of 
the Passpasschase Reserve. Rather, they were cited as the most con¬ 
venient source for evidence to substantiate certain generalizations 
concerning the Department's administration of Indian lands in the 
Prairie Provinces. It is expected that most of these records will 
eventually be transferred to the Public Archives of Canada. Microfilm 
copies of the paysheets have already been deposited in the P.A.C., but 
the permission of D.I.N.A., is still required before they can be examined. 
Microfilm copies of the paysheets from 1874 to 1900 inclusive can also 
be found in the Glenbow-Alberta Institute in Calgary. 

The Records of the Department of the Interior are in somewhat 
sadder shape than those of Indian Affairs. They, too, were originally 
organized as a registry system, but the registers and letterbooks have 
been destroyed. Following the break-up of the Department in the 1930’s, 
a large proportion of the files were transmitted to the governments of 
the three Prairie Provinces. Saskatchewan has preserved most of the 
records it received, and they can be found in the "Homestead Files" at 
the Saskatchewan Archives in Saskatoon. Alberta, on the other hand, 
appears to have destroyed almost all documents except those concerning 
applications for homesteads by individuals. A large number of Interior 
files were retained in Ottawa, however, including many of those concern¬ 
ing Indian Reserves, and probably all of those dealing with "Half-Breed 
Scrip". But, while file lists and indexes for these records exist, they 
are not complete or well-organized. Considering the large volume of 
material involved, this is a serious handicap to comprehensive research. 






The Records of the Privy Council contain copies of Indian 


reserve surrender documents, and of descriptions of reserves that were 
confirmed by Order in Council. The Records of the Department of 
Justice which are available contain the legal opinions on general 
policy questions given by the government's lawyers to the various 
departments before 1930. The records of the North West Mounted Police 
are very incomplete until 1883, when the Commissioner's Office was 
permanently established at Regina. Most of the headquarters records 
for the 1870's and 1880's are not extant. 

For an understanding of the political considerations behind much 
of the Indian policy from 1878 to 1890, an examination of the Macdonald 
Papers is essential. Except for a brief interval, in 1887, Macdonald 
served as his own Superintendent General of Indian Affairs for a decade 
after his return to power in 1878. His correspondence with his Deputy 
Superintendent General Lawrence Vankoughnet and the Indian Commissioner 
Edgar Dewdney, is especially enlightening. Further evidence of the 
political context in which decisions affecting Indian administration in 
the North West Territories were made, can be gleaned from the published 
Debates of the House of Commons , and, to a lesser extent,.from Annual 
Reports of the Department of Interior and of the Department of Indian 
Affairs published annually in the Sessional Papers . Until 1886, the 
annual reports of the individual Indian agents and inspectors, which 
were attached to that of the Superintendent General, were practically 
uncensored, and they constitute an important source of additional 
information concerning the administration of Indian Affairs. In 1386, 
however, Liberal- members of Parliament began making extensive use of 








164 


the information provided by the Annual Reports to buttress their 
arguments that the Conservative government’s actions had provoked Indian 
participation in the 1885 rebellion, and the annual reports quickly came 
under much more rigid scrutiny prior to publication, greatly limiting 
their usefulness as a source of authentic information. 

In order to understand the legal framework in which Indian 
administration operated, it is necessary to consult the various Indian 
Acts and their amendments in force during the period under study. 

Canadian Indians and the Law , edited by Derek G. Smith, provides copies 
of much of the most important legislation, but it is less comprehensive 
than the three volume "Consolidation of Indian Legislation," which was 
recently compiled for D.I.N.A. by Gail Hinge. 

Local white reaction to the government's Indian policies can 
best be discerned from the comments in North West Territories newspapers, 
which also constitute an important source of information concerning the 
problems encountered by local officials in dealing with the Indian popu¬ 
lation. While often unsympathetic to the concerns of the natives, the 
editors of the early North West newspapers maintained a surprisingly 
high literary standard, and local events were usually recounted in a 
colourful manner. Frank Oliver's articles and editorials in the 

Edmonton Bulletin and his earlier columns in the Saskatchewan Herald, 

. — 

while often displaying reprehensible attitudes, are also of interest 
because of their unrelenting criticism of all aspects of the 
Conservative government's Indian policy (or any other policy, for that 
matter). 

There has been relatively little that has been published on 









the subject of Indian reserve land surrenders in Western Canada. 


Stewart Raby*s article "Indian Land Surrenders in Southern Saskatchewan" 
( Canadian Geographer , 1973), provides a useful survey of land surrenders 
in that district between 1901 and 1928. It emphasizes the pressure 
from local white settlers and railway developers as the force behind the 
government's drive for surrenders, and the vulnerability of Indian bands 
to charges that they were making insufficient use of the land that they 
held, and to the inducements of cash advances that would enable needy 
individuals to repay personal debts and purchase machinery necessary for 
farming operations. Raby.makes little reference to the pressure for 
land surrenders which came from the highest levels of the Department of 
Indian Affairs, particularly during the period of 1905 to 1911 when 
Frank Oliver was Superintendent General of Indian Affairs, nor to the 
hypocrisy inherent in many of the proposals for surrenders that would 
ostensibly promote agricultural development. In practice, many such 
surrenders served only to dispose of the best agricultural land on the 
reserve, and to dispossess the most successful farmers among the band 
membership. The vulnerability of bands was also greater than Raby 
implied. Indians could not leave their reserves without a pass from 
their agent, nor sell any of their agricultural produce without a 
permit from the same source. Many, especially the ill and the aged, 
were still dependent on government rations of food and clothing for 
survival. Persons living under such conditions would find it difficult 
to resist pressure from officials of the Department of Indian Affairs 
to surrender significant portions of their land. David Lupul's "The 
Bobtail Land Surrender" (Alberta History, Winter 1978), gives more of 





an indication of the prevailing sentiment within the Department of 
Indian Affairs in favour of Indian land surrenders under the regime of 
Frank Oliver. The Department's highly questionable interpretation of 
the legal rights of the various groups of Indians interested in that 
complicated case, was perhaps accepted too uncritically, however, and 
a few interesting aspects of the negotiations leading up to the sur¬ 
renders (such as the Rev. John McDougall's promise that the Hobbema 
Indians would be permitted to hold a sundance should they agree to his 
proposition for a land sale), were not discussed. 

More has been written on other aspects of Indian administration 
touched on in this thesis. Native Rights in Canada (1972), edited by 
Peter A. Gumming and Neil H. Mickenberg, is the most extensive exami¬ 
nation of the question of the aboriginal rights of Canada's native 
peoples. It must be used with care, however, for it was written more 
as a brief in favour of aboriginal rights than as an objective assess¬ 
ment of the degree to which the concept has been accepted by different 
Canadian governments and courts. Although it is now fifty years old, 

W. C. MacLeod's, The American Indian Frontier (1928), probably gives 
a more balanced account of the development of the concept among the 
various colonizing powers in the Americas. The Department of Indian 
and Northern Affairs has recently produced a pedestrian study of the 
"Historical Development of the Indian Act" (1975), which provides much 
useful information on the various stages through which Canada's Indian 
legislation progressed. John L. Tobias' "Protection, Civilization, 
Assimilation: An Outline History of Canada's Indian Policy" ( Western 


Canadian Journal of Anthropology, 1976), examines those aspects of 










Canada's Indian legislation which promoted the assimilation of the 


Indian population into the dominant European culture. 

The question of whether the Government of Canada incurred the 
legal obligations of a trustee in undertaking its self-appointed 
mission to "civilize" the Indians, has been examined in L. C. Green's 
"Trusteeship and Canada's Indians" ( Dalhousie Law Journal , 1976) and 
by Dennis M. Brans "The Trusteeship Role of the Government of Canada" 
(unpublished, 1971) . Both concede that the question is still open, 
but conclude that it is unlikely that a case for breach of trust could 
be successfully prosecuted against the Crown. Douglas Sanders in 
"The Friendly Care and Directing Hand of the Government" (unpublished, 
1977), reaches a different conclusion, but appears to rely more upon 
political pronouncements and decisions by the United States Indian 
Claims Commission, than upon any solid Canadian or British precedents. 

The treaties negotiated between the Canadian government and 
the Indians of the North West have received more attention. Most 
authorities appear to agree with L. C. Green's conclusion in "Legal 
Significance of Treaties Affecting Canada's Indians" ( Anglo-American 
Law Review , 1972), that the "Indian treaties" were not really "treaties 
at all, in the sense of negotiated agreements between sovereign parties 
The Canadian government considered the Indians to be subjects of the 
Queen and answerable to Canadian law even before the treaties were 
signed, and the Courts have upheld that view. But the treaties were 
of enormous practical value in assuaging the consciences of the Euro¬ 
pean newcomers to the North West and in winning the Indians' accep¬ 
tance of the.new order. Under such circumstances, the negotiations 












which preceded the treaties were of real significance, and the con¬ 
tribution of the Indian chiefs to the final terms agreed upon was not 
insubstantial, a point brought out by John L. Taylor in his "The 
Development of an Indian Policy for the Canadian North-West, 1869- 
79" (Ph.D. Thesis, Queen's, 1975). 

The period between the signing of the treaties and the 1885 
rebellion has been discussed in a number of works. While it makes only 
passing reference to Indian reserves, Chester .Martin's Dominion Lands 
Policy (1938) is useful in giving a detailed description of the 
Federal Government's general policies and objectives in its adminis¬ 
tration of North West lands. A. S. Morton's A History of Prairie 
Settlement (1938) is valuable for outlining the overwhelming problems 
which settlers encountered in their first attempts to raise grain 
crops on the Canadian Prairies before the essential dry land farming 
techniques were successfully adopted. What he tells us of white 
farmers must have applied with even greater force to inexperienced 
Indian agriculturalists, a point that has not been sufficiently 
emphasized in discussions of Indian agricultural efforts before 1885. 
Frank Gilbert Roe's The North American Buffalo (1951) contains much 
useful information concerning the mammal whose disappearance signalled 
the sudden transformation of the way of life of the Plains Indians, 
but it is marred by convoluted argumentation and too-frequent 
digressions in order to launch vituperative assaults upon all with 
whom he finds occasion to disagree. R. C. Macleod's The North-West 
Mounted Police and Lav; Enforcement; 1873-1905 (1976) gives a brief, 


but balanced and well-researched assessment of the role of the N.W.M.P. 














in bringing Indian and white to accept the dictates of the rule of law. 

George F. G. Stanley, in his Birth of Western Canada (1936), 
argued that the Plains Indian was unwilling to adopt sedentary agricul¬ 
tural pursuits after the buffalo had disappeared. Noel Evan Dyck's "The 
Administration of Federal Indian Aid in the North West Territories: 
1879-1885" (M.A. Thesis, University of Saskatchewan, 1970) takes issue 
with this view, and points to the evidence of sustained efforts on the 
part of many bands to raise sufficient food for their own survival. 

Dyck is perhaps somewhat unjust in attributing too much of the failure 
of these efforts to bumbling- and corruption on the part of government 
officials, and not enough to the difficulties arising from climatic 
conditions and unsuitable farming techniques. He also appears to have 
been unaware of the conflict between the partisans of Dewdney on the 
one hand and Vankoughnet on the other, among the Indian Affairs 
officials in the North West. By accepting uncritically the accu¬ 
sations of both sides against the other, he leaves a rather unfair 
impression of the incompetence and dishonesty of the Department's 
agents. The relevant sections of James Douglas Leighton's "The 
Development of Federal Indian Policy in Canada 1840-1890" (Ph.D. 

Thesis, University of Western Ontario, 1975) are based upon more super¬ 
ficial research than Dyck's thesis, but offer a more understanding 
view of the problems experienced by the Department of Indian Affairs 
in finding and keeping competent men to fill its local positions. He 
concludes that the Department did the best it could under very diffi¬ 
cult circumstances. Jean B. D. Larmours' study of Dewdney, "Edgar 
Dewdney, Commissioner of Indian Affairs and Lieutenant Governor of 






the North-West Territories, 1879-1888" (M.A. Thesis, University of 
Saskatchewan, 1969), is largely uncritical, and has not employed any 
of the material from the files of the Department of Indian Affairs. 
Still, it discusses most of the major issues which appear to have 
engaged Dewdney's attention during his term in the N.W.T. 

There have been a great many works published on the North West 
Rebellion, most of them dealing to some extent with the role of the 
Indians in that event. Most authorities still concur in Stanley's 
judgement that the government's excessive concern with economy of 
expenditure provoked many- of the Plains Cree and Assiniboine to take 
up arms against the government, but there is less agreement with the 
interpretation advanced in The Birth of Western Canada that the Metis 
and Indian uprising was the result of a common reaction to the threat 
posed to a dying order by the invasion of a more advanced society. 

While emphasizing with Stanley the desperate plight of the Plains 
Indians and the substantial nature of their grievances against the 
Canadian government, writers such as Hugh A. Dempsey in Crowfoot: Chief 
of the Blackfeet (1973), Norma Sluman in Poundmaker (1967), and 
W. B. Fraser in "Big Bear, Indian Patriot" ( Alberta Historical Review , 
Spring, 1966) , have emphasized the superior acumen of the Indian 
leaders to Louis Riel, and the degree to which their movements of 
protest were distinct from those of the Metis. Sluman and Fraser argue 
that the participation of the Indians in the Rebellion was not intended 
by the chiefs, and was precipitated by the undisciplined reactions of 
their young men to the heady news from Duck Lake. 


The work of the North West Half-Breed Claims Commission between 
















1885 and 1891 has attracted far less attention than it deserves, parti¬ 
cularly in light of the irrepressible interest in the North West 
Rebellion. While the demand for scrip would seem to have been para¬ 
mount among the grievances alleged by the Metis in the period before 
1885, most writers have been content to assert that armed rebellion 
did, in fact, win recognition for the claims of the Metis for compen¬ 
sation in recognition of their aboriginal rights, without troubling 
themselves to examine how those claims were dealt with in practice. 

Marcel Giraud, in his mammoth Le Metis Canadien (1945), devotes some 
attention to the question, and while he reaches the inescapable con¬ 
clusion that the granting of transferable scrip brought little or no 
lasting benefit to the Metis, certain aspects of his account are mis¬ 
leading. David J. Hall’s "The Half-Breed Claims Commission" ( Alberta 
History , Spring, 1977) deals primarily with the 1899 and 1900 Scrip 
Commissions. The most extensive discussion of the work of the earlier 
North West Commissions is to be found in John L. Taylor's "Historical 
Introduction to Metis Claims in Canada" (unpublished, 1975). 

The only substantial work on the career of Frank Oliver is the 
thesis by William S. Waddell, "The Honourable Frank Oliver" (M.A. Thesis, 
University of Alberta, 1950). No personal papers of the Edmonton 
publisher and politician have ever come to light, and so any detailed 
study of his career must rely upon his public statements, his writings 
in the Bulletin , and his private correspondence in other collections of 
private papers such as the Sifton and Laurier Papers in the Public 
Archives of Canada. Waddell did not employ any sources which were not 
available in Edmonton, and did not carry his study beyond 1905. His 












thesis was thus confined to an examination of Oliver's public career in 
the period before he rose to the position of Minister of the Interior 
and Superintendent General of Indian Affairs. It is largely uncriti¬ 
cal, and pays scant attention to Oliver's views on Indian Affairs 
except to draw attention to those occasions upon which Oliver casti¬ 
gated Dewdney and the Federal authorities for their dangerous policy 
of exercising stringent economy in the face of widespread hunger and 
rising discontent among the Plains tribes. 

In addition to the published books and articles and the un¬ 
published theses and papers available to the public mentioned above, 
a considerable number of unpublished papers have been prepared for the 
different Prairie Indian organizations which are regarded as confi¬ 
dential. A few of these papers have been cited in the footnotes and 
the bibliography. It is anticipated that the great majority of these 
papers will be made available to academic researchers once the specific 
issues in dispute between the Federal Government and the Indian 
organizations which the papers address, are disposed of. 





BIBLIOGRAPHY 


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Lands Branch, "Land Sales Books" and "Reserve Land Sales 
Registers". 

Land Registry Office, "Reserve General Registers". 

The Federal Court of Canada: 

Cardinal v The Queen , Statement of Claim, June 3Q, 1975. 

Glenbow-Alberta Institute: 

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Edmonton Bulletin . Edmonton, N.W.T. 
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Buttler, William Francis. The Great Lone Land . Edmonton: Hurtig 
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Cameron, W. B. On the War Trail of Big Bear . Toronto: Ryerson, 1927. 

Grant, Rev. George M. Ocean to Ocean: Sanford Fleming's Expendition 
Through Canada in 1872 . Toronto: Coles Publishing Company, 
1970. 

Morris, Alexander. The Treaties of Canada with the Indians of Manitoba 
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Vattel, Emmerich de. The Law of Nations; or Principles of the Lav; of 
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Carnegie Institution of Washington; 1917. 

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Hinge, Gail. "Consolidation of Indian Legislation". Unpublished 

compilation prepared for the Department of Indian and Northern 
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Lefler, Hugh T. (ed.). A History of the United States From the Age 
of Exploration to 1865 . Meridian Documents of American 
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Documents: 1663-1972 . Toronto: McClelland and Stewart 
Ltd., 1972. 

Young, Harrison S. "Impressions of Fort Edmonton," Alberta Historical 
Review, Vol. 13, No. 1 (Winter, 1966), 22-25. 















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Adams, James Truslow. The Founding of New England . Boston: Little, 
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Boorstin, Daniel J. The Americans: The National Experience . New 
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Canada . 2nd ed. Toronto: The Indian-Eskimo Association of 
Canada, 1972. 

Delanglez, Jean. Frontenac and the Jesuits . Chicago: Institute of 
Jesuit History, 1939. 

Dempsey, Hugh A. Crowfoot: Chief of the Blackfeet . Edmonton: Hurtig 
Publishers, 1973. 

Eccles, W. J. Frontenac: The Courtier Governor . Toronto: McClelland 
and Stewart Ltd., 1959.. 

Giraud, Marcel. Le Metis Canadien. Son role dans l'histoire des 

provinces de 1*Quest . Paris: Institut d'Ethnologic, 1945. 

Jacobs, Wilbur R. Dispossessing the American Indian: Indians and 

Whites on the Colonial Frontier . New York: Charles Scribner's 
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Macleod, R. C. The North-West Mounted Police and Law Enforcement : 
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MacLeod, W. C. The American Indian Frontier . London: Dawsons of 
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Martin, Chester. Dominion Lands Policy . Toronto: McClelland and 
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Morton, Arthur S. A History of the Canadian West to 1870-71 . 2nd ed. 
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Merton, Arthur S. A History of Prairie Settlement , Toronto: 

Macmillan, 1938, 

Patterson, E. Palmer II. The Canadian Indian: A History Since 1500 . 
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Roe, Frank Gilbert. The North American Buffalo: A Critical Study of 

the Species in its Wild State . Toronto: University of Toronto 
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Simpson, A. W. B. An Introduction to the History of the Land Law . 
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Sluman, Norma. Poundmaker . Toronto: Ryerson, 1967. 

Stanley, George F. G. The Birth of Western Canada: A History of the 

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treal: McClelland and Stewart Ltd., 1970. 

Green, L. C. "Legal Significance of Treaties Affecting Canada's 

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Hall, David J. "The Half-Breed Claims Commission," Alberta History , 
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Stanley, George F. G. "The First Indian 'Reserves' in Canada," 

Revue d'Histoire de 1'Am.e.rique Frangaise , IV, 2 (September, 
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Tobias, John L. "Indian Reserves in Western Canada: Indian Homelands 
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Tobias, John L. "Protection, Civilization, Assimilation: An Outline 

History of Canada's Indian Policy," The Western Canadian Journal 
of Anthropology , VI, 2 (1976). 


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Bartlett, R. "The Establishment of Reserves in Saskatchewan.” 

Unpublished paper prepared for the Federation of Saskatchewan 
Indians, 1975. A copy of this paper is held by the Treaty 
Rights Research Branch of The Federation of Saskatchewan 
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Brans, Dennis M. "The Trusteeship Role of the Government of Canada." 

Unpublished paper prepared for the Indian Claims Commission, 
Summer Student Project, August, 1971. A copy of this paper 
is held by the Libraary of the Indian Rights Commission, 207 
Queen Street, Ottawa, Ontario. 

Canada, Department of Indian and Northern Affairs, Policy Planning and 
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from the Treaties and Historical Research Office of the 
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Dyck, Noel Evan. "The Administration of Federal Indian Aid in the 

North West Territories: 1879-1885." M.A. Thesis, University 
of Saskatchewan, 1970. 

Fraser, William A. "Plains Cree, Assiniboine and Saulteaux (Plains) 
Bands 1874-84." Unpublished paper in the possession of the 
Glenbow-Alberta Institute, Calgary, 1963. 

Larmour, Jean Beatrice Drummond. "Edgar Dewdney, Commissioner of 
Indian Affairs and Lieutenant Governor of the North-West 
Territories, 1879-1888." M.A. Thesis, University of 
Saskatchewan, 1969. 

Leighton, James Douglas. "The Development of Federal Indian Policy 
in Canada 1840-1890." Ph.D. Thesis, University of Western 
Ontario, 1975. 

Sanders, Douglas. "The Friendly Care and Directing Hand of the 
Government; A Study of Government Trusteeship of Indians 
in Canada." Unpublished paper, February 22, 1977. A copy 
of this paper is held by the Treaty Rights Research Branch 
of The Federation of Saskatchewan Indians, 1715 South 
Railway Avenue, Regina, Saskatchewan. 

Taylor, John Leonard. "The Development of an Indian Policy for the 
Canadian North-West, 1869-79." Ph.D. Thesis, Queen's 
University, 1975. 








Taylor, John Leonard. "Historical Introduction to Metis Claims in 
Canada." Unpublished paper prepared for the Indian Claims 
Commission, June, 1975. A copy of this paper is held by the 
Library of the Indian Rights Commission, 207 Queen Street, 
Ottawa, Ontario. 

Tobias, John L. "Interim Report on the Little Pine/Lucky Man Band." 

Unpublished paper prepared for the Federation of Saskatchewan 
Indians, Treaty Rights Research Division, 1974. A copy of this 
paper is held by the Treaty Rights Research Branch of The 
Federation of Saskatchewan Indians, 1715 South Railway Avenue, 
Regina, Saskatchewan. 

Tyler, Kenneth J. "A History of the Cowesses Band: 1874-1911." 

Unpublished paper prepared for the Federation of Saskatchewan 
Indians, Treaty Rights Research Division, 1975. A copy of this 
paper is held by the Treaty Rights Research Branch of The 
Federation of Saskatchewan Indians, 1715 South Railway Avenue, 
Regina, Saskatchewan. 

Tyler, Kenneth J. "The Treaty-Making Process in Western Canada 1869- 
1877. A Preliminary Report: The First Western Treaties 
1869-1872." Unpublished paper prepared for Treaty and 
Aboriginal Rights Research of the Indian Association of 
Alberta, June, 1974. A copy of this paper is held by the 
Treaty and Aboriginal Rights Research Branch of the Indian 
Association of Alberta, 11710 Kingsway Avenue, Edmonton, 

Alberta. 

Waddell, William S. "The Honourable Frank Oliver." 

University of Alberta, 1950. 


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INTEKVIEWS 


Lapotac, Jim. Interview with Kenneth J. Tyler, November 22, 1972 

(in Cree, interpreter George Morin). Tape in the possession 
of The Enoch Band, Winterburn, Alberta. 


Lapotac, Jim. 

1973. 

Several informal interviews with Kenneth J. Tyler, 

Morin, George. 

1973 . 

Several informal interviews with Kenneth J. Tyler, 


Morin, Lawrence. Several informal interviews with Kenneth J. Tyler, 
1973. 

Shortlegs, Albert. Interview with Kenneth J. Tyler, November, 1972 
(in Cree, interpreter Henry White). Tape in the possession 
of The Enoch Band, Winterburn, Alberta. 

Ward, Johnny. Several informal interviews with. Kenneth J. Tyler, 
1973.